Story and photos by Julie O'Connell
The new year brought new technology to Our Lady of Peace School in Lynbrook. On Wednesday, Jan. 16, the parents and students of the 4th and 5th grade attended a meeting to hear about this exciting new program.
Brand new Apple iPads were purchased for each 4th and 5th grade student and were given to the students at this meeting. Over the years, Our Lady of Peace School has used technology to transform teaching and learning. The school already utilizes SMART boards in every classroom and they are used daily by teachers and students to maximize learning.
“The iPads were the next step”, said technology teacher Nicole Striga. “This will give these 4th and 5th grade students the chance to have their education come to life with direct participation and interaction with the learning process.”
The iPads were given to the students for them to be used both in school at home. Students are required to bring their iPad to school each day and use it to participate in various lessons that take place. The students will also take the iPad home each night to complete homework assignments, as well as have the opportunity to use the variety of apps that have be placed on it for educational use.
The apps and programs on the iPads are chosen by the teachers. This means although the students have the opportunity to bring it home each night, it will be limited to educational use.
“Technology is changing all the time and we want our students to be on the cutting edge”, said Principal Sr. Mary Dowden. “Our faculty and staff has really embraced this initiative and are creating many rich collaborative experiences with technology for our students”.
In addition to using the iPads for lessons and research, the Our Lady of Peace students have an app that allows them to be part of a social network with their teachers and classmates. The app called Edmodo is a safe and easy way for a class to connect and collaborate, share content, access homework and school notices.
The fourth and fifth grade was a great place to start with this program. However, the goal going forward is to continue to purchase iPads for more and more students at Our Lady of Peace. These iPads will follow the current fourth and fifth graders for the remainder of their years at OLP. The days of students lugging backpacks full of heavy textbooks are numbered and will be replaced with iPads.