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Exciting new developments in e-learning for Presentation College Carlow

Presentation College Carlow have made some significant investments to their ICT infrastructure and integration of ICT into their teaching and learning within the school. When the new extension to the school was built, it was decided to upgrade the whole network infrastructure.

The computer rooms and DCG room have been fully equipped with the latest tools aiding in the education of the students. Network points have been installed in all the rooms throughout the school and in each section, a 3Com(HP) wireless access point was installed. This provides full wireless network coverage. The College has two powerful servers, one for staff administration and the other for facilitating teachers and students.

The school boasts computers and laptops all connected to the network. Reliability and planning plays a big part, and in conjunction with Dynamic Business Systems along with a managed service agreement, all aspects of the network are catered for.

Claire McHugh, ICT Co-ordinator in the school mentioned "Although the fundamentals of education never change the way in which we educate never stops changing. It is vital to us as educators, to give the best possible beginning to our students, and this is achieved with having the proper facilities in our school".

Computers are used in every aspect of teaching at Presentation College. It plays a fundamental role in the Technology and Construction rooms where students use wireless laptops and workstations to design and plan their projects.

Software such as Solidworks allows the students digitally craft, apply materials, and render in 3D their ideas. Laser lathes, CNC machine along with traditional tools bring these ideas to fruition. In addition, Science, History, English, Irish and Maths classes, the school feels they more students are immersed in the technology, the more they can cope in a digitally literate society.

The recent installation of 40 data projectors and provision of wireless laptops to 20 more teachers has meant that classrooms are changing to acknowledge the role of ICT in a digitally literate society. Epson and Sanyo interactive short-throw projectors have been installed in specialist rooms making learning easy.

The staff at Presentation College Carlow are confident and competent in the use of ICT, receiving regular ICT support and training. The new syllabi in all subjects acknowledge the need for ICT based learning, particularly in the new Project Maths.

Presentation College Carlow Invest in New Virtual Learning Enviroment!

Presentation College Carlow have also invested in a new Virtual Learning Environment "SchoolWise" developed by LinkWise Ltd. It comprises of a private cloud based service designed specifically for schools and using curriculum content from the Department of Education. "We decided to purchase the SchoolWise in response to the level of I.T. skills existing among students and staff." Explains Claire "In a digitally literate society Presentation College is responding quickly to the use of I.C.T. in education our students."

SchoolWise has made a difference in many ways. All teachers and students are now registered on SchoolWise and have access to central school information and curricular material through the use of digital communication and resource sharing. Students can download and view assignments from their subject folders.

Once complete, the assignments can then be uploaded directly to teacher’s folders. All types of materials are accessible from documents, presentations, videos and audio files. These resources can then be used by teachers and students in the classroom, accessed at home or even downloaded to other devices such as iPads and i-Phones.

"It has revolutionised the way we teach and how knowledge is consumed" says Claire. Teachers have attended two days of intense training this year as part of their staff development days. Eight teachers have been trained in Administration of the site, allowing them to create blogs, wikis and calendars, while thirty five teachers have received professional training from LinkWise in early March in using the V.L.E. to upload existing teacher resources.

SchoolWise is accessed through the schools website, which has been totally revamped and updated by LinkWise as part of the SchoolWise software. The new website is a bright, easy to navigate site, full of the latest news and photos from recent events and is now fully maintained by the school.

"The LinkWise team have worked hard to ensure this VLE is of the highest standard - it is clear and focussed. Each subject breaks down into ten relevant areas where teachers give students access to essential digital resources and information.

The staff response has been extremely positive and we in Presentation College are delighted to lead the way into this exciting Virtual Learning Cloud Technology world which acknowledges and enhances the use of ICT in our school."

More information on SchoolWise can be obtained from www.schoolwise.ie.

(article courtesy of The Nationalist newspaper)