Broadband in schools: Helping teachers engage with students
Technology is often discussed as a tool that can help and harness education for students. This is certainly the case in Our Lady’s National School in Clonskeagh, Dublin, but students aren’t the only ones to benefit. High-speed broadband has given new energy and confidence to teachers who have “revolutionised” their teaching methods, according to Edel McLaughlin, deputy principal and teacher.
“With high-speed broadband, teachers who were a little more hesitant to use the internet – those who might not feel comfortable around the internet – I find are a lot more confident these days,” explains Edel.
Until recently, teachers in Our Lady’s National School avoided using the internet for fear of content not loading properly or slow download speeds; causing kids to get anxious or impatient. She believes high-speed broadband from open eir has completely transformed teaching methods at the school.
HELPING CHILDREN GETTING EXCITED ABOUT EDUCATION
Since incorporating more technology into the classroom, teachers have noticed that students are increasingly engaged and have started getting more enjoyment from their lessons. “The minute they see laptops and iPads coming out you can hear the whispers around the classroom; “Yes!” Their faces light up,” says Edel.
Teachers use a programme called Storybird, which enables students to become budding storytellers. Through the platform, the children can demonstrate their creativity by writing and animating their own stories online with pictures and text.
Teachers also use Nintendo DS devices to aid students’ maths learning. “The Nintendo DS is a fantastic way to teach maths in school, or, I suppose, reinforce what they’ve learnt,” says Edel. “For example, there is an addition, subtraction and multiplication tables game. The children can share the same game and see who wins at the end. The children don’t realise they’re actually doing their tables – they’re just playing a game in their eyes!”
BRINGING MUSIC TO THE CLASSROOM
High-speed broadband has allowed teachers to add more creativity and variety to their lessons; engaging students and bringing more fun into the classroom. Using an interactive board, Edel teaches her junior infants action songs and number rhymes, as well as phonics and numbers games. “With high-speed broadband it works so quickly. The children are really engaged with it. Also, for children with English as a foreign language, it’s fantastic because it’s visual. It’s a brilliant resource to have.”
With increased resources, enabled by high-speed broadband, Edel says it’s not just students who are more excited about their lessons. Teachers are also getting more out of their classes, as open eir’s broadband has opened up new possibilities in the way they teach.
“In a world where technology is everywhere, it’s only right that schools have this facility of high speed broadband and that everything is at our fingertips.