Technology courses are essential to every Catholic school curriculum. In fact, technology is required to be integrated throughout each course of study, from Mathematics to Religion. The use of technology in the 21st century is integral to preparing students for college and career success. Technology courses in Catholic schools cover a variety of lessons, including Research and Information Fluency, Digital Citizenship, Creativity and Innovation, Communication, and Collaboration. All of these units are taught and influenced by the lens of Catholic identity and the dignity of all humankind.
Technology integration at St. Margaret School has a history that touches all grade levels and impacts all subjects. Saint Margaret has been able to harness the necessary resources for technology integration through the assistance of several volunteers. These qualified individuals offered their expertise in various technology professions to assist the school in developing programs and include the latest technology necessary to stay competitive and enhance the classrooms.
Included in the duties of the technology committee was the development of one, two, and five-year goals. An initial strategic plan was completed in 1998 with these volunteers' assistance. Strategic plans have been devised every five years since the initial plan.
Timeline of Technology Advancements at St. Margaret School
- St. Margaret school opened its new middle School campus and hired a full-time Computer Technology Coordinator to work at both ES and MS campuses
- A stationary computer lab consisting of 32 wireless computers on our elementary school campus
- A mobile computer lab consisting of 32 wireless laptop computers on our middle school campus
- St. Margaret school hired an assistant to work with the Computer Technology Coordinator
- The computer teacher was appointed as Technology Integration Specialist
- The TIS, in addition to teaching student computer classes, was also charged with training and assisting teachers with the integration of technology into the classroom
- St. Margaret School intergraded technology through all grade levels
- Formal computer class removed from the middle school schedule as a result of full integration
- SMARTBoards purchased and installed for the Elementary School classrooms
- A corporate donor assisted with the purchase of Mimio equipment for the Middle School classrooms
- Installation of Mimio equipment completed for the Middle School
- Chromebooks purchased for incoming 6th graders
- An additional 60 Chromebooks
- 221 iPads purchased for use on both campuses
- Additional 90 Chromebooks purchased for incoming 6th graders
St. Margaret School Technology Initiatives
- Chromebook Initiative: St. Margaret began its Chromebook initiative in 2016. Our 6th and 7th-grade students currently participate in our 1-1 technology program. We utilize the Acer Spin 311 and Lenovo 300e 2nd Gen Chromebooks, which are geared toward K-12 students and designed with the students in mind. Students will remove their Chromebooks in the morning from a secure storage cart during homeroom and return them to the cart for charging before leaving school. The teachers have full discretion over where, when, and how the Chromebooks will be used throughout the school day. The student’s Chromebook will be assigned to that student for the three years in middle school. In addition to our Chromebook initiative, St. Margaret has iPads with a 1:1 ratio of devices to students in K-2 and Chromebooks with a 1:1 ratio of devices to students in grades 3-8 giving them access to secure internet, installed apps, and printers. G Suite is provided to help teachers and students with many exciting uses, including Google classroom, school projects, class work, and homework.
- 3D Printing: In addition to the core technology integrated curriculum, 3D printing has been added as an activity to enhance instruction throughout many of the schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
On May 5, 2015, Archbishop William E. Lori held a press conference to announce an exciting new initiative that makes a 3D printer available in every Archdiocesan school. The initiative was made possible due to support from the Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future capital campaign, a generous donation by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Croteau, and our technology and curriculum partners, 3D Systems and STEAMTrax.
3D printing is considered a “game-changer” for schools, as they provide children with unparalleled access to innovative technology used by engineers, astronauts on the International Space Station, and medical professionals and scientists.
St. Margaret School students will have access to this same technology and a curriculum that allows our students to become more ready every day for future discoveries and advances we have yet envisioned.