A group of teachers and students at St. Lucy Parish School recently began live testing of their new 1 to 1 laptop program, rolling out to all 8th grade students in a few short weeks. Teachers, students, staff, and parents alike marveled on Day 1 at the wondrous new opportunities provided by the 1:1 program.
This new program provides an assigned laptop to each student for use 24 hours a day. Each netbook has been pre-configured with a suite of tools designed to integrate with existing solutions like SMARTboards, enhancing education through more interactive learning techniques.
Many benefits are expected as a result of this new program, including the ability to quickly gauge student comprehension in real time. In addition, these students are learning valuable computing and presentation skills that will prepare them for the future and carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Even though teachers left training with homework to do, creative juices were flowing with new ideas on how to leverage the technology in a wide variety of ways, from interactive 3D mapping, to collaborating with classrooms around the world using streaming voice and video. They are all looking forward to generating enhanced course content utilizing the advanced technology now available to them.
A few parents attended training with their students as well. Within the first few minutes of experiencing some of the tools being provided, they were amazed at just how powerful the platform can be and how one idea leads to 10 more, offering literally limitless educational opportunity for the students.
So just how did this program go from idea to reality? Initially, the idea was presented to the school committee by the principal. After much discussion, it was determined a technology panel would be formed. The St. Lucy Parish School EPIC (Electronic Programs for the Innovative Classroom) committee was formed to engage innovative teaching strategies at all grade levels. From the start there were many strong supporters who donated much time, talent and effort to get the project off the ground, as well as key private donors providing financial assistance. The committee was guided by Nick Preuss, owner of FuzeData Inc. Through his recommendation of key technologies used in a budget friendly manner, to his donation of time, effort, and technology components, Preuss has played a key role throughout.
For the EPIC committee there was a great sense of achievement in watching the 21st century technology come to life and exceed everyone’s expectations. Seeing it in action makes the 18 months of planning and preparation pay off in a big way, knowing the students will receive the very best education possible. At this time, the EPIC team is currently evaluating the next several stages of advancement for this program, as well as additional technology based tools for use in the primary grades. To this extent, we will be adding SMART Slates for the younger students in 2010. Future plans will include programs geared to raise student achievement scores, starting with math. These new innovative technology programs once again renew how deserving St. Lucy Parish School is to be labeled as an exemplary school by the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
St. Lucy Parish School has some limited enrollment slots available in grades K3 through 8 at this time. For enrollment or to make a donation please contact St. Lucy School at 554-1801 ext. 212.
St. Lucy’s Parish, Faculty, and Families hope you will join them at the EPIC Event fundraiser hosted by St. Lucy’s School on September 11th beginning at 4PM for a family picnic, raffles, tricycle racing, Klement’s sausage races, and outdoor movie showing (weather permitting). Proceeds from this event will help fund additional technology upgrades at St. Lucy Parish School.