The One-to-One laptop computer program is the result of twelve years of technology study at St. Ursula Academy. In preparing our young women for a changing world we are providing them with tools which enable them to be networked with information technology anytime and anywhere during their high school years here. The mission of the Laptop Computer Program is aligned with the mission of St. Ursula Academy and with our responsibility to be visionaries of what will enhance and enrich the teaching and learning of those we serve. Having had laptops and then tablet PCs for the past ten years, as well as many in-house and continuing education classes to learn how to use technology in the classroom, our faculty is ready and eager to go from using shared laptops on carts in the classroom to each student having her own computer.
Tablet PCs are lightweight, highly mobile computers the size of a legal pad. Users interact with them by tapping, writing, or drawing on a touch screen with a stylus (digital pen), and they are capable of wireless access to the Internet or the campus network. Tablet PCs are full-blown computers with plenty of memory and lots of storage space. They run Windows XP or Windows 7 and all the usual applications. The St. Ursula Academy’s wireless network allows access to communication, information, and all of our purchased resources anywhere on our campus at any time. And accessibility does not stop “at the school house door.” Because students have their own Tablet PC’s they are able to work on them outside of the classroom: at home, waiting for practice, even in the car!
The Tablet PC consolidates student materials and eliminates carrying of most books, numerous binders, notebooks, large numbers of colored pens and highlighters. Students learn how to organize digital materials and learn the time management skills they will need for success in high school, college and careers. Most significantly, the Tablet PC enables teachers to implement different types of learning activities made possible by technology that will address the needs of different types of learners such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (learning by-doing).
Today’s students are digitally savvy. They are well versed in a variety of technological tools and they use them effortlessly. In St. Ursula Academy’s mission of preparing women for a changing world, it was the academy’s decision to move with this rapidly growing hi-tech world in order to best prepare the students for college and their future careers.