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Thursday 2 October 2014

It's bye to books at the new school where every pupil learns with an iPad

Sarah MacDonald

Published 04/09/2014 | 02:30

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Le Cheile Secondary School, Teacher Roisin Ni Dhonncha[center] pictured with some of  her first year class and their iPads
Le Cheile Secondary School, Teacher Roisin Ni Dhonncha[center] pictured with some of her first year class and their iPads

Every student attending the new Le Cheile Secondary School in Tyrrelstown, west Dublin, has made the digital switchover and swapped their traditional books for an iPad.

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The school, which opened its doors last week for the first time with 86 students, has opted to teach and learn via a virtual learning platform.

While some schools have begun to wean themselves off traditional books through tablets and iPads, none have gone exclusively for a virtual learning platform, according to Le Cheile Principal Aine Moran.

Teachers at the Le Cheile secondary school create their own resources in a way that is most appropriate for the students they are teaching.

They then upload this material on to a virtual learning platform called Schoology, which the students can access from home and where they can submit their homework.

Parents

Cost is a consideration but the Le Cheile principal explains that there are a number of options for parents.

Those who wish to purchase an iPad4 can get one through the school for €375. However, if the student or parent has an iPad already the student can use that - though content will be wiped and a block is put on the iPad for any over-15s content.

"Many of our parents have chosen this option and others have bought recycled models. We only specified that it must be a minimum of an iPad2 and have a 16GB capacity."

The cost of Schoology for three years is €20 per year. "When you set this against the cost of books or even a book rental system, it begins to make economic sense," she added.

Irish Independent

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