St Fintans

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6 Responses to St Fintans

  1. Aelsa Carroll says:

    So far, we’ve been making slow but steady progress in St. Fintan’s. I was given an hour to present at our first staff meeting, so myself and my IT pal Shane gave a short inservice about how to set up our new Gmail accounts, use Drive and how we’ve integrated it into the T&L in our classes.
    Feedback was positive, and within a week all but 6 teachers had at least logged in to their accounts which we too as positive! Now all the teachers and students have a @stfintanshs.ie address and access to Google Apps.
    Then came our next challenge – to formulate a proper AUP. This kind of policy document is fairly laborious so we’re still working away at it. We agreed with our Principal that the 1st years should be taught about safe online activity as part of the SPHE course. We’re also working on a summary of the AUP for parents, and a contract that parents and students will have to sign agreeing to appropriate use of the email account. This paperwork is slowing the progress for us at the moment, but it’s essential and I have more time to devote to it now that September is wrapping up.
    We had a staff meeting yesterday and I made sure to remind everyone that these exciting changes are happening!

  2. hublinkie says:

    Have you seen these AUP links from Webwise?
    1) AUP guidelines and templates: http://www.webwise.ie/SampleAcceptableUsePolicies.shtm The 12 page AUP Guidelines could be useful.
    2) Webwise SPHE Course ‘BeSafe_BeWebwise’: http://www.webwise.ie/BeSafeBeWebwise.pdf. When the AUP is drawn up Topic 1 ‘Secret Codes’ might help the 1st years discuss the need for an AUP and understand how it applies to them. They might even be able to offer suggestions to help make it into accessible ‘Responsible Use Rules’ for use throughout the school. Good luck with the paperwork!

  3. Aelsa Carroll says:

    We’ve used both these links actually, very helpful, thanks a million for the tip!

  4. hublinkie says:

    Hi Aelsa,
    Sarah Jayne’s posting https://irelandlivingschoolslab.wordpress.com/scoil-na-ceithre-maistri/comment-page-1/#comment-29 got me thinking about free PDST Google Drive courses in your school’s area and I came across “An introduction to Google Drive” here –
    http://www.ecdrumcondra.ie/courses/coursescpdoverview. The Ed Centre might be able to arrange a run of the course in your school?

  5. Aelsa Carroll says:

    So we’re four months in to the LSL project in St. Fintan’s and all is going well. The AUP was finally completed and passed by the Board of Management in November, and we also designed a code of behaviour for students when using Google Apps, since it’s a new form of communication within the student body and with staff too.
    Apart from a few minor technical difficulties with passwords etc., feedback has been very positive! I sent out a Form to staff in the New Year, just to see how people were using Gmail and Drive, and the results were encouraging. A few teachers are already getting students to work collectively on assignments, and there is lots of resource-sharing going on between staff and with students too. As the year progresses, I’d like to investigate a more organised way for staff to share knowledge and handy little ‘finds’. I like Sarah-Jayne’s practice of 10 minute CPD sessions, and I think Sites might be an option either.

    One area in which Drive have been very useful is our ongoing SSE (we’re focusing on Literacy). The committee have used Forms to survey teachers and first year students and I think the automatic graphing of results has saved them a lot of time.

    As I said on the LSL CoP, I’ve found Apps to be so helpful in the administrative side of my TY role! I already raved about the Calendar, so I won’t go on about it again, but in a nutshell we can now share the day-to-day activities with parents and they can see future events, important deadlines, dates for trips etc. So convenient! And it has definitely cut down on phone calls and notes in journals. ( I did go on a bit there) We’re making our the planning, administration and evaluation of our Work Experience Programme entirely paperless this year for the first time. With just under 100 TYs to keep track of, I’m looking forward to Spreadsheets, Forms and Gmail doing some of the grunt work for us! And one of my aims for this year is to get a portion of the TY Portfolio stored in Drive, as well as the traditional cardboard files that currently adorn the shelves in the office.

  6. aelsacarroll says:

    I can’t believe it’s almost the end of September, where has the month gone! The summer is a fond but distant memory now, and we’ve settled back into school life in St. Fintan’s. Google Apps have become assimilated nicely into the learning environment as we had hoped. The Business dept. have opted to try out Edmodo this year too which is exciting – I still haven’t had a chance to give it a proper try so I’m hoping to gain some peer-to-peer knowledge from them over the next few weeks.

    I’ve decided to Google classroom a go, I’m setting it up with my 2nd year science group this week since they’re already familiar with their school email and Drive from last year. At first glance it appears to be really user friendly so I’m looking forward to playing around with it.

    We have set up a small ICT team of TY students who are available to staff when they take a class in the computer room. I offered it to lads who already had an interest in coding and gaming and in the end I had to do a draw to pick the four, hope for the future! They can help other students to manage accounts, or during the MOS and Computer Programming modules in TY. On a side note, I recently put up a timetable in the staffroom to book the computer room and within days it was full! Teachers ranging in subject from French to Maths to Geography are taking classes in there now to do research and use online resources. Again, a very positive sign I think.

    Our ICT committee have yet to meet… the new term shell-shock is only passing now…but we have a meeting scheduled before the end of Sept. We hope to get time during a staff meeting where we can offer a variety of 15 minute sessions on different aspects of ICT in the classroom.

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