St Kieran’s College upgrades its classroom technology with ActivPanel 9

Published: February 7th, 2024

St Kieran’s College in Kilkenny is the oldest Catholic secondary school in Ireland. The all-boys school strives to give each of its 800 students the best learning experience possible, so equipping its teaching staff with the most up-to-date technology is imperative. With the intention to deliver a truly modern curriculum, St Kieran’s College set out to adopt contemporary classroom teaching technologies while planning for a new school building.

Most classrooms at St Kieran’s College were using traditional front-of-class hardware that was approaching the end of its lifespan, like RGA projectors. Teachers weren’t receiving the functionality that modern interactive displays provide, and bright sunlight coming through the large windows made the images on the screen hard to see. It was clear that a change was needed to improve teaching conditions.

Identifying the ActivPanel as the ideal upgrade

Installing highly functional interactive flat panel displays (IFPDs) helps teachers deliver lessons flexibly, in their own style, while making classes more engaging for students. Promethean was the first brand selected by the IT department at St Kieran’s College after seeing effective use of the Promethean ActivPanel displays in local primary schools.

Promethean’s ActivPanel 9 Premium was installed in five classrooms during the first phase of implementation. This replaced the aging projector technology with a new, all-in-one solution for teaching and learning. Classes including maths, French, and computer science were set to benefit from the upgrade.

“Our IT department recognised that the features and tools the ActivPanel offers could be of great use at St Kieran’s,” said Lester Ryan, a teacher at St Kieran’s College. “As teachers, it’s much easier to teach when we don’t need to work against poor visibility and other distractions.”

ActivPanel makes a long-lasting impression

In Mr Ryan’s computer science class, the ActivPanel has quickly boosted collaboration. Students link to the panel via the ScreenShare app to easily display and discuss their work with peers. This feature provides a new dynamic that wouldn’t have been possible with the school’s old technology, and it introduces a new way for students to collaborate and receive feedback, providing an additional tool to help Mr Ryan manage the class.

“When we use the ActivPanel in lessons, you can tell the students know they need to focus and instantly feel engaged,” Mr Ryan said. “It’s easier to keep everyone on task when they know I can see their screens and display them on the ActivPanel at any time!”

Maths teachers at St Kieran’s College use digital measurement tools like the ruler and protractor through Promethean’s Whiteboard app, benefitting from quick access and consistent results. These tools eliminate the need for teachers to hold physical instruments with one hand and draw with the other on a traditional board, which also makes it easier for all students to see what they’re doing. Additionally, having the ActivPanel set up beside a traditional whiteboard offers more real estate for teachers, providing more options for bigger ideas. This combination of digital and traditional formats supports a more flexible teaching approach at the school.

Easy access to online search engines through the ActivPanel is a cherished feature in the French classroom, as teachers can seamlessly switch between presenting textbook content to finding and annotating examples of how the language is being used via the web. Finding real-life uses of the language is often more intuitive for students, and a great way for teachers to spark those “a-ha” moments.

“As we’re just at the start of our journey with Promethean, the next step is to develop teacher trainers who can support the rest of the teaching staff,” Mr Ryan said. “Soon, we’ll be undergoing construction work on a new school building. Once that is complete, we can move toward having ActivPanel displays in every classroom.”