Educational technology has long been a part of everyday life for Salpointe students and families. As a result of COVID-19, our use of technology for interaction and learning has accelerated. With the continuation of distance and hybrid education, Salpointe is tasked with bringing our exceptional programs to the virtual space.
Salpointe is committed to using state-of-the-art technology to enhance education. Since 2015 every Lancer has had their own Chromebook, programmed to take advantage of our full G Suite for Education implementation of Gmail, Slides, Docs, etc. As we finessed our use of these applications, we equipped each learning space with Android-based Promethean boards in the fall of 2019. Teacher utilization of Google Classroom as a learning platform became commonplace. When we had to quickly pivot to Distance Learning in March due to COVID, we were ready for success.
There were many lessons learned in the spring semester regarding remote teaching and learning. In reviewing student, parent and faculty/staff survey data from May, it was clear that the face-to-face time teachers had with students was of paramount importance. We also confirmed that diverse teaching styles needed individualized technology set up. With a focus on student engagement, we selected technology tools that would mirror the in-person classroom experience as closely as possible.
On August 25, 2020, we began the school year with live, synchronous learning. Students and teachers join Google Meet sessions where teachers can use Swivl robotic cameras to instruct and interact with students in real time. Swivl cameras allow teachers to move around the classroom, point to visual aids on the wall, conduct science demonstrations, dance and more. The high-quality audio/video system allows teachers to deliver lessons, present images from their Promethean Boards and talk to students throughout the class period.
These technology tools are greatly appreciated by our teaching faculty. They have benefited from training in various forms: one-on-one, Professional Learning Communities, academic departments and administration. The Technology Team, including Director of Technology, Educational Technology Coach, IT Specialist and Assistant Principal for Academics, has employed a hands-on approach to support teachers with the technology tools and training they need for success.
Salpointe’s partnership with Lancer parents is an important aspect of a Salpointe education. Through Google Classroom daily or weekly guardian summaries and MyPointe grade book updating, parents can be engaged in guiding their child’s education. We also utilize ParentSquare, a notification system that keeps families updated on vital school announcements.
As we navigate the new realities of distance and hybrid learning we remind ourselves that, no matter the distance, the Salpointe Catholic High School community is ever-present.