Ursuline Academy is an award-winning educational technology leader in the state of Delaware. Our trailblazing programs, including our One-to-One Laptop Program, and infrastructure investments, which made Ursuline the first wireless school in Delaware, create a culture of technological innovation on our campus. Starting in our Lower School, teachers integrate computer technology into classroom lessons and encourage students to learn academic basics in an interactive environment. Our students not only perform better on standardized tests as a result of our technology offerings but also develop an invaluable proficiency in advanced computer technology skills, which gives them a competitive edge over their peers.
Our Lower School offers a progressive computer curriculum, which begins in Early Childhood and continues through grade 5, focusing on computing and network dynamics, document creation, graphics and presentation, spreadsheets and databases, email, and the internet. Our classes familiarize your child with a variety of hardware options, including desktop and laptop computers, iPads®, SMART® Boards, SMART® Tables, printers, and cameras. Our teachers continuously emphasize the importance of responsible computing by highlighting the social and ethical issues of a student’s technology use. Through our computer classes, our students become early adapters of the newest technology programs and applications, boosting their self-confidence in problem solving and increasing their aptitude for science- and math- related fields.
Ursuline Academy’s One-to-One Laptop Program, a 2014 Superstars in Education Award Winner, personalizes the academic integration of technology for all of our Middle School and Upper School students, spanning grades 6 through 12. The program is a key instructional component, embedding computer technology into every aspect of daily learning through their laptops across all academic courses. Students read e-books, prepare presentations and projects with PowerPoint® and Prezi®, conduct individual and group work assignments through Google Docs®, submit assignments through Turnitin.com® and Edline, and communicate with peers internationally through Skype® and FaceTime®. The lasting effects of the program can be seen when our students realize the distinct technological advantage they have over their peers in college. Beyond classroom learning and instruction, the Laptop Program has also been the driving force behind integrating technology into the way parents, teachers, and administrators work together to the benefit of our students and their learning.
Starting in grade 6, students enter the Laptop Program through the Technology Department’s Laptop Camp, offered during the summer to Middle and Upper School students. The half-day orientation program introduces students to their laptop, recommended applications and programs, our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), and general expectations and requirements for responsible computing as stated in the Student Handbook. Whether the computer is a Mac, PC, or Netbook, the Technology Department works with students to ensure they have all of the required access and software needed to be successful in the classroom.
We are also continuously investing in our technology infrastructure, including network upgrades, to ensure our students have the connectivity and tools they need to excel. Our central Academy-wide information hub, Edline, serves as our integrated online communication portal for students, parents, faculty, and administrators to access information on events, activities, homework assignments, grades, and more. All Middle and Upper School teachers maintain a webpage for their individual classes through Edline, with up-to-date information, assignments, and test dates. Edline also provides emergency updates and notifications to students and parents on an as-needed basis. This resource prepares our students to access classroom materials and submit assignments through an electronic portal, which is common on most college campuses today.
In addition to Edline, Ursuline provides students access to the University of Delaware’s Library Portal, UDLib/SEARCH, an all-purpose research database with digitized versions of reference materials, and NetClassroom®, which gives students and parents online access to academic information, including grades, report cards, and schedules through a secure online connection. Our full time Technology Department, headed by our Director of Technology, also provides assistance for hardware and AV repair, software usage, internet and information accessibility, and internet content filters.
By allowing students to work from both home and school on the same computer platform, there is no disruption to access and ultimately, no deterrent to continuous learning and skills development. Students have the power of technology at their fingertips, which allows them to read, view, and listen to academic resources from around the globe both in the classroom and in the comfort of their own homes. Using computer technology for their academic work has merely become second nature to Ursuline students because of the effectiveness of our Laptop Program. As a result, our students are fluent in the technological language spoken across the globe in almost every industry, and set the standard for the technology skill sets necessary to be leaders of tomorrow.