independent

Saturday 26 July 2014

Some Wexford students already ahead of game

Published 14/01/2014|05:38

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First Years from Presentation Secondary School in Wexford with their iPads.

With technology moving so fast, it's important to keep up. First year students at The Presentation secondary school can claim to be light years ahead when it comes to embracing new technology, as in August of last year, they became the first class of their generation in Wexford to use iPads rather than purchasing conventional text books.

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The initiative has all but eliminated the need to lug around a heavy schoolbag and ensured that the students are to the fore when it comes to educational technology. Now four months later, Principal Breda Cogley said that the move has been a positive one and that the students are greatly benefitting from access to the iPads.

'We will be carrying out a formal review of them in the next couple of weeks,' Ms Cogley said. 'But so far it seems to be going very well. The students are delighted with them and seem to have embraced them straight away.'

While there were originally some slight teething problems in relation to the content on the iPads, the entire Junior Cert booklist is now available to the students with the swipe of a finger.

'There were some minor problems at the beginning with the booklist. There were different companies who had different ways of doing things with licences and things of that nature. Some were far more advanced than others in terms of content too. Thankfully those problems have all been ironed out now and we've employed a company to manage subscriptions and things like that for us.'

Measures are firmly in place to ensure that only educational content is available on the iPads and that the students aren't tempted to drift onto Facebook during a lesson. 'We have blocking software however which means that students can only access approved websites.'

Pending a thorough review, Ms Cogley hopes that school books will become a thing of the past and that next year's first years will also use iPads. 'The initial comments from parents have been very positive. We had a workshop for parents and we want them to be able to use the iPads and access the content too.'

- PADRAIG BYRNE

New Ross Standard

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