Ursuline Academy is a school with a technology focus.
It embodies this focus through the meaningful integration of technology into the academic curriculum and in the active shaping of its students as digital citizens. Students and employees are educated in the appropriate use of technology and principles of responsible digital citizenship are reinforced through school policies. With a strong commitment to technology training for all teachers, Ursuline encourages creative and innovative uses of digital resources in the classroom.
Every incoming student is required to purchase a state-of-the-art laptop issued by Ursuline. The selected device for the Class of 2026 is the Microsoft Laptop Studio, a powerful laptop and portable studio in one. The Quad-core H series Intel i5 processor, 16GB memory, and 256GB SSD provide superior performance and reliability, capable of handling 3D graphics, animations, light video rendering, and engineering programs.
Ursuline was one of only 61 to be recognized for closing the gender gap in both AP computer science courses.
Ursuline Academy of Dallas has been named a Microsoft Showcase School for 2022-2023, marking the 6th year that the school has achieved this recognition awarded annually.
Ursuline was one of only 61 to be recognized for closing the gender gap in both AP computer science courses.
Technology integration is essential for the 21st century classroom.
From STEM to the Arts, here are highlights of the many ways in which innovative technology supports student learning across the curriculum at Ursuline Academy.
Ursuline has Microsoft Surface Hubs, an amazing, fully integrated Windows 10 device optimized for distance learning. Using the hub technology, our community is able to engage in hybrid meetings and events.
Classes also utilize a variety of Microsoft programs like Microsoft Teams for day-to-day communication and announcements, and Microsoft OneNote for document sharing, a notebook, a collaboration space, and more!
Early in 2019, Ursuline Academy became the first high school in Dallas to acquire an Anatomage virtual dissection table: allowing students to explore virtual representations of the intricacies of real human bodies.
Students also work with 3D printers to develop the skill of transferring from 2D objects to 3D objects. They design and prototype designs to understand concepts and connections and work on developing solutions to real world problems.
In the Engineering Design Innovation (EDI) class, students use SpatialVis™ as a tool to teach freehand sketching and improve students' spatial skills. They will also utilize Shaper3D to develop 3D designs which will be printed on Makerbot 3D printers. Arduino boards use C/C++ to complete projects requiring electrical switches and/or motors. Additionally, EDI students may take advantage of the Fabrication Lab's variety of tools, including a laser cutter, to complete Mechanical and Electrical projects where they will solve real-world problems they have chosen.
Daily technology used by students, like cell phones, is also incorporated into the classroom. Students use a variety of image capturing software to take pictures of slides they observe with digital microscopes. They then label these images of cells and structures on their computers. Students learn video analysis to understand motion and create stop motion animation videos of biological processes as they explore the chemical nature of life.
- OneNote is utilized to house all class content including student lab notebooks and as a platform for student collaboration.
- Vernier LabPro/LabQuest with a variety of sensors including spectrophotometers, motion detectors, accelerometers, force plates and probes, photogates, and gas probes for data collection and labs.
- Logger Pro to digitally collect data and automatically generate data plots during experiments.
- ThingLink and Canva are used to create interactive media pieces, like brochures (Environmental Science recycled runway, etc.)
- Weebly and Microsoft Publisher teach students about website and graphic design for their project websites and brochures.
- Bookings, a Microsoft app, has streamlined the way students can access their teachers for outside conversations and allows students to meet with any teacher on the team and choose who they want to work with.
- Padlet and Microsoft Reflect check in on student wellness and have them reflect.
- Flip Grid, National Geographic, Skype, and Teams allow classes to connect with experts and go on virtual field trips.
- Students use WhiteBoard (MS) to individually post driving questions at the beginning of the units and reflect over the labs. Student collaboration.
- FlipGrid is used for uploading videos over projects and assignments. Students also leave comments on some posts to enforce their thinking.
- Microsoft One Note is utilized for posting documents, student notebooks, collaboration space, and much more.
- Kahoot, a game-based learning platform, is utilized for review classes.
- Incorporate virtual labs when can't mimic interaction in a high school lab.
- Forms and Edpuzzle web sites for formative assessments and reflections.
- Students use Neo Notes for working problems virtually and viewing tutorials.
Students in the Visual Art Department have access to Adobe Creative Cloud which is a collection of desktop and mobile apps used for photography, design, and video projects. Student will have access to the Adobe creative suite which includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Premier Pro.
Adobe Premier Pro video editing software is taught and used in the Filmmaking curriculum, as students learn to edit their own short films.
Other online applications used in Visual Arts include:
- Photographers’ Ephemeris for sun and moon position at any given time, date, and place
- Camera simulator for understanding camera operation
- Photo sharing to illustrate ideas
- Depth-of-field calculator to ensure proper focus
- Star Guide application to trace stars to be photographed
- Weebly.com for creating on-line websites for student art portfolios
- Voice-Thread, an online platform for uploading photos of artwork for recording/receiving audio feedback in collaborative art critiques, and
- Insight software is used by ceramic students to calculate and create unique glaze formulas
In English classes, students conduct research using online databases and sources in order to build their digital literacy. Specifically, they learn how to find relevant information, assess authorial bias, and format proper citations.
Additionally, students use an array of programs that make collaborative learning a seamless part of class. In particular, shared virtual spaces allow for real-time feedback on writing, efficient partnership on group projects, and eco-friendly methods for storing materials or creating portfolios.
As technology continues to evolve and change, teachers in the Ursuline English Department strive to stay up-to-date by attending trainings and sharing their own innovations.
Access to the library collection is available to students through the library automation system, Accessit. Through the catalog, students may search the collection, identify resources, place items on hold, and renew borrowed items.
Students have access to several e-book collections: Overdrive offers one-to-one circulation of high interest fiction and non-fiction titles to mobile devices including laptops, smart phones, e-readers and tablets; other e-book platforms offer unlimited access to resources for use in research.
LibGuides allows the librarians to curate specific resources for use by students as they are assigned research as part of the curriculum. The UA library subscribes to and provides access to many general-information and subject-specific databases for use in research. All databases are accessible remotely.
SSO (or single sign-on access) is provided to most library resources, removing additional login requirements for individual databases and providing ease of use for our students.
- Padlet is used to engage all students. They can speak, read, write, and draw in one place.
- Goformative assesses students' Chinese character typing skills and speaking skills.
- Kahoot, Quizlet, Blooket, Wordwall are fun ways to master vocabulary.
- DuChinese, an online Chinese reading platform, is utilized to practice reading and writing.
- In Flipgrid, students upload project and assignment videos. Students also leave comments on posts to re-enforce their learning.
- Storyjumper.com is used to create electronic stories or books with art and props. Students also have the ability to print their creations.
- Conjuguemos to master vocabulary and verb conjugation.
- Microsoft Sway for portfolio creation and presentations.
- Microsoft PowerPoint for oral and written presentations.
- Peardeck to engage all students and make PowerPoints interactive.
- Nearpod for cultural presentations (whole class or self-guided).
- Textivate for reading comprehension and ordering activities.
- Renaissance is a language lab to practice oral skills.
- VHL platform is used as an online textbook to practice all language skills and tutorials.
In U.S. History Class, students use the Ford Theater website and WeVideo to make videos using Lincoln’s speeches, and to create movie trailers of events in history.
College Counseling uses Naviance to transmit school supporting documents to colleges, to create surveys for students and parents, to post scholarships and other announcements, visits from colleges, to register students for AP exams and practice PSAT, SAT, and ACT test opportunities, to create reports for admission and scholarship data.
At Ursuline, every student learns how to code.
Because technology is limitless, so is imagination, and The Academy's Computer Science Department keeps each student on the cutting edge.
Students can also request additional courses to further their programming skills. The Computer Science Advanced Topic Honors course was added to extend the curriculum and challenge the students.
In Engineering Design Innovation, students are taught the design process to engineer and innovate new products. They might explore programming 3D printers or drones to meet the needs of their "customers."
Finally, Ursuline’s Computer Science Club competes in all-female programming competitions and hosts an annual Hackathon at the school.
Eve Juarez, Computer Science Department Chair
"Ursuline allows us to drive our own curriculum and try new ideas. In class, we want programming, but also critical thinking and design. Computer Science offers open-ended problems, and that's what our students will face in the real world.”
A wide range of technological tools are used at Ursuline to foster individualized skill development, student learning, and more effective assessments.
Included, for example, are Microsoft Hubs, 3D printers, language labs, Office 365, Microsoft Stream, Web 2.0 tools, scientific logging hardware and software, computer programming authoring tools, publication software for the student newspaper and literary magazine, and library research resources.
Teachers also use technology to support their pedagogical approaches. Examples include the use of Story Remix, a video production and editing tool, and YouTube together with our learning management system to facilitate blended learning environments. Teachers have the freedom to explore different technologies to find those with which they are most comfortable and may use most effectively, and students have a wider range of technology-based learning techniques made available to them. In addition, all teachers participate in Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Certification.