Saint Brigid’s National School in Dublin, is a Catholic co-educational primary school that champions connectivity and forward thinking. Having experienced the benefits of Promethean solutions since 2003, the school recently recognised the need to refresh their existing interactive whiteboards and introduce more modern technology.
After initially installing 12 ActivPanel displays, teachers, parents, and board of management were quick to recognise that to achieve education equity for all pupils, they needed the technology in every classroom.
Thanks to school investment and community fundraising initiatives, Saint Brigid’s accelerated the school-wide upgrade programme. Now, all 32 mainstream classes are fully equipped with a brand new ActivPanel.
Technology supports a customised curriculum
The educators at Saint Brigid’s pride themselves on being ahead of the curve with teaching methods and have always been enthusiastic about using digital tools in the classroom. With the ActivPanel, the school is pioneering innovative ways to facilitate cross-curricular teaching. Teachers are exploring an enhanced range of resources on the panel and finding new ways to re-engage students in their learning.
The ActivPanel is being used across all subjects and year groups. After the displays were installed, teachers quickly became confident using the in-built tools. They have found it easy to launch apps like the Whiteboard, Spinner, and Timer and use them in conjunction with other software programs to encourage class collaboration.
“The functionality of the ActivPanel enables a constant flow of new learning approaches in the classroom. It all comes back to strengthening pedagogy and the ActivPanel tools are great for supporting lesson delivery across the curriculum,” explained Nicola Fay, principal at the school.
Another great base for pupil collaboration has been the use of online applications. For example, Google Earth has made it possible for pupils to virtually explore ancient Egypt, Everest, and even Mars. Free online virtual tours have facilitated indoor investigations too, enabling pupils to visit galleries and museums, supporting the discovery of arts history from the classroom.
Re-engagement through connectivity
By combining the ActivPanel with personal devices, the school has reignited student engagement in the classroom. Used simultaneously with the ActivPanel, iPads have been introduced so that pupils can mirror their work to the front of the class using Screen Share. Whether it’s sharing individual pieces of work or group findings on a particular subject, the connectivity of the large interface helps stimulate teamwork in the classroom and break down boundaries to explore art and literature.
“The various ways in which the technology is used around the school are endless and the pupils love interacting with new and exciting ways of learning,” said Ms Fay. “For us, the investment comes back to strengthening pedagogy and mastering how these facilities are used in the classroom to our benefit – teachers and students alike.”
Laying foundations for a tech integrated future
Technology is at the heart of the culture and ethos at Saint Brigid’s, and the staff are always keen to learn from each other. As well as sharing ideas internally, teachers have undertaken professional development with Promethean. This has included in-person orientation sessions delivered by a local education consultant, as well as a Train the Teacher Day course. Train the Teacher Day brought four schools together to disseminate best practices and share experiences of using various ActivPanel tools.
Adopting the ActivPanel with quality training and support has empowered and upskilled teachers to use technology in innovative ways and across all curriculum subjects. For a school that has a longstanding partnership with Promethean, Saint Brigid’s remains excited about the future and moves forward with confidence that their technology strategy will continue to enhance pedagogy.