Technology in the Classroom

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.

STEM Classes

Anatomy students work with 3D printed skulls and pelvic bones, using paints to identify bone-marks on the 3D printed models. They make small videos over the bone-marks to show their knowledge.

In Anatomy, Biology, and AP Biology classes, students use Motic software to take pictures of slides they observe with digital microscopes, labeling the cells and structures on their computers. Students also make stop motion animation videos with their phones over cell transports and cell divisions. Other software tools include:

  • Kahoot, a game-based learning platform, for review classes
  • Camtasia and ScreenCase, for creating flipped classroom videos that are posted to YouTube
  • Internet access for webquests and virtual labs
  • Vernier Probeware for data collection and labs
  • Logger Pro to digitally collect data and automatically generate data plots during experiments
  • Socrative, Quizlet, Edpuzzle web sites for formative assessments
  • OneNote to present lessons, gather feedback, and have students share work
  • App Inventor to design Apps and TinkerCAD for 3D printing
  • LabPro/LabQuest, CO2 sensors, pH sensors for labs
  • Light microscopes and stereomicroscopes for labs


Visual Arts

Insight software is used by ceramic students to calculate and create unique glaze formulas. Adobe Photoshop is used as an integral part of Digital Photography classes and in Studio Art IV to create digital collages as inspiration for creating paintings.

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

English

Students use the Internet and library databases for texts and research, learning the process of Internet research and digital literacy, how to find accurate and reliable information, and how to assess validity and bias. They share and comment on essays in real time using Google Docs, and Creative Writing class is experimenting with cyber portfolios.

One teacher’s ongoing project encourages students to use Twitter as a space to share current events that have connections to the literature the class is reading/discussing. TED talks are viewed as ways to enhance or set up a particular lesson or idea. Students use Pixton or ComicLife programs to help design their own graphic novels. They create videos to create a reimagined scene in The Odyssey or Macbeth, for example, or to design movie trailers for a specific text.

Teachers use smart phone apps like the Kaplan SAT Question of the Day or dictionary apps.


Library

Access to the library collection is available to students through the library automation system Destiny where students may search the collection, identify resources, place items on hold, and renew.

Students have access to several ebook collections: Overdrive offers one-to-one circulation of high interest fiction and non-fiction titles to mobile devices including laptops, smart phones, ereaders and tablets; other ebook platforms such as Destiny Discover, ABC-Clio ebooks, and Gale Virtual Reference Library offer unlimited access to resources for use in research.

LibGuides allows librarians to curate particular collections which guide students as they are assigned research as part of the curriculum. The UA library subscribes to and provides access to many general and subject specific databases for use in research. All databases are accessible remotely.

EZProxy will provide remote single sign-in access to all library resources, removing additional login requirements for individual databases and providing ease of use for our students.


Notable Others

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.


Love and Empathy

Ursuline educators act in a loving and empathetic manner with their students by:

  • Helping students to develop a strong sense of the dignity inherent in themselves and others
  • Actively listening and communicating with students individually while providing productive feedback
  • Supporting students outside of the classroom, encouraging them to recognize talents other than academic success
  • Developing their craft with the consistent understanding of their students’ needs

You will achieve more with kindness and gentleness than with harshness and strong rebukes.
— St. Angela’s 2nd Counsel

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