Sacred Heart Cathedral School’s continued growth in educational technology is due to the professionalism and dedication of the school’s teachers and to the strong support of the Sacred Heart Cathedral School community. We are a teaching institution but also a learning institution. As a staff, we are continually looking to improve our teaching abilities and resources. To that end, we offer an array of technological tools in order to engage our students in their learning and to teach them as effectively as possible.
SHCS has a 1:1 Google Chromebook program in the Middle School and 2:1 student: device ratio in elementary school grades (K-5). Our Middle School students pick up their Chromebooks in homeroom and return them at the end of the school day. Since we use Google Apps, student work is saved in the cloud and can be accessed from any device at home, when needed.
What are Google Chromebooks? They are cloud-based laptop computers that run the Google Chrome operating system and Google Apps for Education (GAFE). Sacred Heart is an official GAFE school with three Google-certified instructors on staff. We implement tools that allow students to communicate, collaborate and research, including Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Maps, Sheets and Google Classroom, a learning management system that allows for virtual teacher and student interaction.
What are the benefits of using educational technology? The driving question is: How can educational technology be better than the traditional approach? Google-certified teacher Nicole Erwin explained, “When students are more engaged in their learning, when they can collaborate easily with peers, when they can get immediate feedback on their work, and when they can have their individual academic needs met, then we can say that we are getting the most out of the technology experience.”
In fall 2017, SHCS added a 3-D printer, the da Vinci Junior (shown above), to its growing arsenal of unique technological opportunities for students. In addition, the school started a competitive robotics team in which Middle School students design and build robots that compete in local and state competitions.