One of the hallmarks of Holy Family Academy's 21st century approach to education is the integration of technology in the curriculum. It is integrating rather than simply using technology that differentiates this award winning school.
Studies have shown that billions of dollars spent to equip classrooms with computers have, in many instances, little effect on the way teachers teach or students learn. Schools that merely substitute online research for encyclopedias, or word processing software for typewriters are just using different tools without actually changing the way students learn.
"We are thrilled to be using iPads in our primary grades to support our curriculum and learning goals for our students," states Mrs. Carlotta Lencioni, second grade teacher at Holy Family Academy. Integration of technology into our Inquiry-based learning units really encourages higher level thinking and problem solving. Technology is so essential to address all learning styles, particularly in first and second grade when students are just developing a love for learning."
Much thought and planning has gone into this purchase. "While it's easy to get excited about technology for technology sake, we have been investigating the use of iPads for some time," states Mrs. Jeanne Henry, first grade teacher. "Before implementing the devices on a broader scale we wanted to make sure the technology helps us to actively engage our youngest learners and build knowledge, not just deliver information."
The acquisition of the iPads was made possible by a generous donation of Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Graft, Sr., as well as contributions from an anonymous donor and the Academy Parent Association. "Our parent community loves our teachers and the innovative learning that goes on at Holy Family Academy," states Mrs. Angela Geitner, Parent Association President. "Words can't convey the feelings parents have when we see how excited our children are to come to school every day."
Clearly, engaging students by integrating the technology into the curriculum rather than just using the technology has made a difference in the learning that goes on at Holy Family Academy.