Limerick students replace books with iPads

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

TRANSITION year students at Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh in the city have replaced their schoolbooks with Apple iPads as part of a new technology initiative which was launched this week.

TRANSITION year students at Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh in the city have replaced their schoolbooks with Apple iPads as part of a new technology initiative which was launched this week.

Each of the 60 students can now access teacher notes, resources and assignments through the college’s impressive range of ITC platforms, Wikis, Blogs, Moodle, ePortal and MS Exchange and live@edu.

Pupils can also download and save entire past exam papers for the Leaving Certificate and associated marking schemes to iBooks and the majority of textbooks are also available to the pupils in a single download process.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Donncha Ó’Treasaigh, principal, said it forms an important part of how Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh will prepare its pupils for entry into Third Level and the working world.

“By providing Transition Year pupils with Apple iPads in their fourth year, we can focus their learning and acquisition of skills into best preparing them for life at the next level.  They are at the right age to be mature enough in the proper use and care of the devices and to appreciate the responsibility of becoming a young adult.”

Mr Ó’ Treasaigh said the college started the process of looking at hand-held devices in June 2010.

Students will also be able to use the college’s high-speed wireless broadband service.

Apple worked closely with the college and provided training for staff to enable teachers to convert their comprehensive notes ‘as gaeilge’ to interactive resources in ePub format.

Ciara Ní Dhrisceoil, assistant principal, said the purchase of a powerful Mac server was essential to ensure the proper deployment of the iPad concept in the classroom.

“From this, all teachers upload their resources, notes and assignments for pupils to view and download.  Pupils use blogs and various free apps to complete assignments. The vast range of free, high quality apps is amazing. It really brings to life the subjects in the classroom.”

The introduction of iPads at Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh is supported by the City of Limerick VEC.

“The iPad initiative fulfils four key strategic outcomes of our ICT Strategy and underlines our growing reputation as one of the most ICT proficient VECs in Ireland,” said Paul Patton, ceo, City of Limerick VEC,