A Sunset Park school is upgrading its way of learning through technology.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) Catholic Academy, 526 59th Street, recently received a $168,000 grant through the Diocese of Brooklyn to help it purchase technology. Around $40,772 went towards purchasing 80 Chromebooks for students to prepare them for higher learning.
OLPH Principal Margaret Tyndall discussed the school’s steady shift into technology.
“The point of it, especially for kids in junior high, is to get them ready for high school and in doing this, we’re making them technologically savvy because if you look at education for the past couple of years, especially in Catholic school, we’re trying to move away from paper and do everything on a technological scale, for instance homework or classwork,” she told this paper.
“We got the Chromebooks so that the children will be able to learn to do their lessons online,” Tyndall continued, “whether they’re watching a video teaching them the different skills in the common core in math or ELA or writing an assignment.”
One of the benefits, she said, is that teachers, “Are able to review student work right away and give their comments or recommendations, and send it back to the children and get them to make the corrections then, instead of marking papers, and bringing them back in two or three days, which we found was nonsensical. It’s just not working, not at this time. We are trying to prepare them, especially the eighth graders, for the next level.”
According to Tyndall, the entire program the school rolled out is called H.O.P.E. , which stands for Help our Pupils Excel.
“We’re trying to get students to excel not only in math, English and science but also technology,” she said. “So we brought in our STEM program as well. It’s a huge program we have here at OLPH and that’s just a part of it.”
So far, students have really taken to using the Chromebooks. “It has been very positive,” she said. “If you’re being honest with yourself, it’s the students that are a little ahead of us. I think they’ve embraced this and are very happy with what they’re doing because you can see the difference in their work and attitude towards learning.”
The plan has been well received by parents as well. “The parents are excited about it,” Tyndall said. “They’ve embraced it. I think we’re all on board and same page.”
The eighth graders are permitted to take their devices home with them. The school also hopes to purchase tablets for the students in grades one through four.
OLPH worked with CDI Computer Dealers, which sold the school the computers, to obtain training for its teachers through CDI’s partner, EdTech Team, which trains teachers how to use the technology.