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.
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. 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.
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
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
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, 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.
Access to the physical and electronic library collections is available to students through the library automation system Accessit. Students may search the collection, identify resources, place items on hold, and renew items previously checked out.
Students have access to several e-book collections: Overdrive offers one-to-one circulation of high interest fiction and non-fiction as well as e-audiobook titles to mobile devices including laptops, smart phones, e-readers and tablets; other e-book platforms such as Salem Press, ABC-Clio e-books, EBSCOHost e-books, and Gale e-books offer unlimited access to resources for use in research.
LibGuides allows librarians to curate collections of materials which guide students as they are assigned research as part of the curriculum. The UA library subscribes to and provides access to many general interest and subject specific databases for use in research. All databases are accessible remotely with single sign-in access for ease of use by the students.
All library resources are reached through a single point of access, the Beatrice M. Haggerty Library Team in Microsoft Teams. General information regarding library hours, contact information for the librarians, frequently asked questions, support for research, video tutorials, and much more can be found there.
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.
Microsoft Surface Hubs (2S model) are available in every classroom on campus! The Hubs allow students at home to feel included by allowing them to get the feel of being in the classroom while at home. The Hubs face the entire classroom, their peers, and their teacher. Teachers use them as an interactive whiteboard, while also interacting with the students on campus and at home.
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