Filed underIndependent Schools
Back in March we brought you the story of how a small Archdiocesan school in Middle River is coming up huge when it comes to preparing our children for the challenges of tomorrow. Using 25 Samsung Galaxy Tabs, principal Kathleen Sipes was able to incorporate important, new teaching methods into the upper and middle school curriculums.
Thanks to modern technology turning itself over every six months, Verizon Wireless was able to offer the last generation Galaxy Tab at a sizable discount for the school. Ms. Sipes purchased an additional 81 units, giving the school a total of 106 Galaxy Tabs. The new units will allow the entire student body access to this critical new way of learning.
This early in the year, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s technology guru, Dianne Fitzpatrick is in the process of finding out which lower and middle school teachers feel comfortable using the new devices. Some teachers did take the devices home over the summer. This allowed them time to familiarize themselves with the devices, and to develop lesson plans they can utilize throughout the year.
Ms. Fitzpatrick plans to rely on those teachers who have a firm grasp of the technology to guide those who do not. In the coming weeks, she will also meet with the teachers who have worked with the units,
Ms. Fitzpatrick mentioned that the school’s five year old kindergarten students seem to navigate the mobile devices more easily than some of her teachers. This should not surprise anyone who witnessed the dawning of the personal computer age during the mid to late eighties. Children born after 1980 were generally far more proficient with computers than their parents.
Getting the teachers up to speed on mobile learning devices is important. Ms. Sipes and Ms. Fitzpatrick both pointed to a higher level of engagement by the students when the Galaxy Tabs are used. To that end, the staff at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel intends to integrate the devices into all subjects this year, not just science and SAT prep, as they were last year.
With new technology comes increased costs. Aside from the mobile devices, Ms. Fitzpatrick also oversees the school’s LAN, classroom computers, computer lab, and the servers which are supposed to run everything. Over the summer, those servers crashed, leading to an expensive recovery process, the replacement of hubs, and other unforeseen expenses.
The money needs to come from somewhere, so the school came up with a unique event last year to raise money, which they are going to repeat this year. If you love bingo and Coach Handbags and Pandora Bracelets, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel has the perfect night for you.
On Friday, November 2, the second annual Coach Handbags/Pandora Bracelets bingo will be held at 7 P.M. Proceeds will benefit the school’s technology department. Last year’s event sold out, so we are giving you ample time to make your plans.
The school is located at 1706 Old Eastern Avenue in Middle River.
Written by Richard Wonder. Used by Permission.