We believe that digital technology can be a powerful tool for enhancing learning, and assisting with all forms of communication. Digital technology has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives in the College and we have enthusiastically embraced the use of technology in our learning.
Undoubtedly, digital and interactive technologies can bring a new richness of resources to the classroom and to learning and teaching in general. We aim to embed these technologies across our curriculum to enhance our established educational excellence. However, we do recognise that the use of digital technology should have relevance in our teaching practice and that it forms part of our holistic approach to quality education.
Our academic departments make every effort to integrate ICT into the curriculum innovatively and in some cases lead the way for other schools. Both the English and Science blogs have won multiple awards, both national and international. This includes the coveted Golden Spider award presented to the Science department for their informative Frog Blog.
Over the last few years we have developed our facilities to complement our innovative teaching staff. Every classroom has a networked computer with access to high speed broadband as well as a fixed projector. Every department has a visualiser at its disposal and many teachers are using an iPad to support their teaching. All of our classrooms are equipped with wireless access to high speed broadband enabling more interaction and collaboration. The concept BYOD (bring your own device) is applicable to a boarding school environment and we are currently planning ways of developing this form of learning. In the 2015-2016 academic year our first year teachers will be preparing for the introduction iPads on a one-to-one basis in the first form. The following year they will be introduced to the first form to pilot the use of iPads in teaching and learning. In addition a dedicated computer lab is regularly used by various academic departments as well as being available in the evenings for prep.
The prevalence of digital technology requires us to ensure that our pupils are capable of full participation in this digital world. In recognition of this, our pupils are encouraged to engage with technology. All have a Google apps account; have their own network profile to save their work and assignments and have wireless access to the Internet in most areas around the college. Timetabled Computer Studies classes reinforce their digital literacy while the ICT department can be called upon for help.
As with learning, digital technology plays a crucial role in all aspects of communication in a boarding school like St. Columba's College. We endeavour to keep parents informed about pupils and events as much as possible through email, our website, twitter, our school app and termly newsletters. A combination of pcs and wireless access points are available for pupils in their boarding houses. This gives pupils access to the Internet outside of the classroom.