Technology

We Are 21st Century Learners
Technology

Technology


St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School has demonstrated a long history of staying on the cutting edge of technology and its importance to education and student life. It is infused into our culture, visible in every classroom and utilized by every student on both campuses. It is important to us to continue to be on the forefront of technology usage so that our students become 21st century learners.

In September 2012, St. Thomas Aquinas began its 1:1 technology initiative at the Upper School. Currently, students in 6th grade are issued iPads that stay with them through graduation and beyond. The iPads serve as an educational tool in the classroom and are used for a variety of activities including homework, time-management, taking notes, research and interacting with STA's learning management software Moodle and Renweb.

Technology as a teaching tool begins before the distribution of 6th grade iPads. As early as kindergarten, our computer specialists at both the Lower School and the Upper School provide basic computer skills, applications, and concepts for students through 5th grade. Every classroom is equipped with interactive smart boards providing our teachers and students the opportunity to fully engaged through a hands-on learning approach to our curriculum and multiple personal computers.


Technology Plan for 2018-2019 School Year


St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School integrated the 1:1 iPad program for 6th-8th grade (Middle School) students into the curriculum in 2012. Since then, our teachers have used the devices to create a more hands-on and engaging learning environment, preparing your children for high school and beyond. This year, our Director of Technology, John Kappes, and Instructional Technology Specialist, Andrew Price, created a new 2-year plan for both the Lower School and Upper School that includes improvements to our current 1:1 program.

Next school year, 6th-grade students will receive school-issued laptops (Dell Latitude 3189) instead of iPads. These laptops will stay with them each school year until graduation. The Latitude 3189 is a durable, convertible laptop specially designed with students in mind, featuring a touchscreen and a full-sized keyboard, and will be equipped with Windows 10 and Office 365. Rising 7th grade and 8th grade students will keep their current iPads next school year. By the 2019-2020 school year, all Middle School students will be using the Dell Latitude 3189 for their studies.

Concurrently during the 2018-2019 school year, we will expand our iPad program to the Lower School providing new iPads for use in PK-2nd grade. In 2019-2020, the program will again expand to include sets of iPads for the 3rd-5th grade at the Upper School.

STA is excited to expand and enrich our student technology resources and the teaching and learning possibilities that this new technology initiative will provide across all grades.

How We Use Technology at STA

Lower School (PK-2nd)

Every student in kindergarten through 2nd grade make a weekly visits to the Computer Lab, our specialized technology space with components to teach building, coding, and production. These modules help our young learners build a foundation in computer science, engineering, fabrication and design and prepare them for self-directed learning and responsible digital citizenship as they move to the Upper School.

Each classroom is equipped with smartboard technology to support a more integrated and collaborative learning environment.

Upper School (3rd-5th)

St. Thomas Aquinas strives to cultivate creativity and instill a deeper sense of digital citizenship in our 3rd through 5th grade students as they build on skills learned at the Lower School. At this point, they begin to work collaboratively, communicate more effectively and examine their work more critically.

Third through fifth grade students attend computer lab twice a week, where they continue their discovery of coding and programing. In the classrooms, teachers use smart board technology to provide new material in a more interactive learning environment. Many days, students are seen at the smart boards, presenting projects or working together on problems. In 2018-2019 school year, St. Thomas Aquinas will introduce class sets of iPads in 3rd-5th grade.

Students in 3rd-5th grade have the opportunity to participates in

Middle School (6th-8th)

Technology is integrated into the Middle School curriculum across classes and grade levels, from word processing to research to data analysis. Our 1:1 environment for students in 6th-8th grade supports a student-centered approach to learning, which leads to greater engagement, fulfillment and understanding.

In Middle School, St. Thomas Aquinas students have the opportunity to participate in the Wiredcats Robotics Club which offer the opportunity to research, build and design robots to solve a variety of challenges.

In the 2018-2019 school year, St. Thomas will begin transitioning to a 1:1 laptop program for Middle School students.

Diocesan Technology Guidelines

The Diocese of Dallas provides an extensive technology plan for all the Catholic school in its care. This plan integrates technology into the educational process to enhance learning, instruction, communication, and information management in a manner that is both equitable and accessible to all.

Diocesan Technology Plan