Case study - Ireland - St Vincent’s Secondary School, Cork


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St Vincent’s Secondary School is a Catholic girls’ secondary school managed by the Religious Sisters of Charity and catering for more than 300 students. Located on the northern side of Cork City - an area of multi social deprivation - a large number of students have unemployed parents, presenting challenges to progress before the students even arrive at the school.

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Case study - Ireland - St Vincent’s Secondary School, Cork

  1. 1. St Vincent’s Secondary School, CorkBackground and ChallengesSt Vincent’s Secondary School is a Catholic girls’ secondary school managed by the ReligiousSisters of Charity and catering for more than 300 students. Located on the northern side ofCork City - an area of multi social deprivation - a large number of students have unemployedparents, presenting challenges to progress before the students even arrive at the school.The development of a caring environment that caters for the needs of every student is a significantpart of the school’s mission statement, as Sinéad Connelly, home economics co-ordinator and teacherexplains: “Here at St Vincent’s we strive for academic excellence while recognizing the need constantlyto develop a curriculum where compassion and co-operation are given a high value. Because some ofour children face huge challenges before they arrive at the school, we are often faced with twoextremes; those students with low ability, and others of high ability. Recognising this, we offer extraclasses for those weaker academically, and put on classes to support and nurture those more able,independent learners to try and encourage them to go on to college. As a school, we are constantlyseeking the best means of working effectively in the light of the changing needs of the students. Asstaff therefore, we want to do all that we can to motivate all our students, and have found that givingthem a chance to get more involved in their learning can make a huge impact. ”Solution and BenefitsSinéad first heard about the Mobi View™ mobile interactive whiteboard from eInstruction from felloweducators on Twitter: “After this, I did some further research on the internet, reading accounts of otherteachers using the device from around the world. What I read about other’s experiences led me tobelieve that the Mobi View could really be a transformational tool to help strengthen the learningprocess.”Sinéad has been using the Mobi View at St Vincent’s with two of her sets; a second year homeeconomics class with students of an average age of 14, and a SPHE (social, personal and health Blog : - - - - - -
  2. 2. education) with students 16 years old. She explains: “I chose these sets specifically, with a youngerand an older age bracket, as I did not want to pigeon hole the technology into just the junior section ofthe school. I believe that students of every age could benefit from it as it is a non-curriculum specificresource.”Here, Sinéad details a typical lesson in which she would use the Mobi View: “A lesson on weighing andmeasuring would typically be a student’s first home economics lesson. Using the device, the lessonworked brilliantly – it went far better with the level of interactivity the Mobi provided than I have everseen it before and I have been teaching 19 years! The students were dying to get their hands on theMobi View because they could see me walking around the room, touching the stylus on the pad andturning the pages, where usually with the whiteboard I would have to be up at the top of the classroomand this intrigued them.”Sinéad continues: “An activity within this lesson would be an image of a weighing scale or jug, andthey had to fill where they thought 100ml would be. I demonstrated this first, and amazingly they allwaited patiently for their turn; trying to get teenagers to do this normally can be a challenge! Theywere very excited with the prospect of using the technology and I hadn’t seen that before. Normally Iwould demonstrate any activity on the board or give them a worksheet, but they just want to get theirhands straight on the actual water and jug – this time was different. This lesson was one of the first Iran using the Mobi View, and since then, the students have campaigned for me to use it every time!”The approach so far with the senior class for SPHE has been more discussion based: “I recently ran abody image lesson, and used the Mobi View to help facilitate discussion. I acted effectively as a minutetaker, being able to use the stylus to write down each student’s contributions immediately, which werethen displayed on the whiteboard. This meant that everyone had a fair chance to get their voice heard,acting as a leveller to encourage all students to take part. The feedback from students afterwardsshowed that they were very pleased to see their ideas on the board, and felt much more like they hadmade a contribution to their learning process.”The portability of the Mobi View has helped to transform the way in which Sinéad can approach, runand manage her lessons, providing a greater chance to really monitor the progress of her students.She explains: “The Mobi View has proven to be a great management tool for me as the teacher, mainlybecause it offers me much greater flexibility in my lesson. In home economics for instance each child is Blog : - - - - - -
  3. 3. at a different work station, so being able to walk around to see what they are doing and still continueto run the lesson is brilliant! If I am at the back of the room for example and need to put something onthe board I can do it there and then without walking back to the front. The device being veryresponsive also means I can do this quickly, without breaking the lesson flow. With the ability to moveI can see more, which gives me as the teacher more interactivity with the students to strengthen theirlearning.”A key benefit of the Mobi View for teaching staff Sinéad feels is its compatibility and ease of use: “Ialready had on file a number of Powerpoint lessons made up and ready to go, and I was able toincorporate these with ease. I had initially thought this would be a challenge as the format might notbe compatible or it may take a long time, but it didn’t. This was a pleasant surprise as I have othersoftware that can easily leave you muddled by needing to drag items in, but the Mobi View Workspacesoftware removed this hurdle, allowing me to quickly and easily plan my lessons.”For the students, the Mobi View has proved to be a good tool for helping the harder-to-reach childrenthe school has on roll. For instance, staff can work one on one with students to make them feelinvolved in their own learning and removing any danger of being ostracised by others. Sinéad explains:“If for example I have a recipe on YouTube, I am able to go to the student that might be that little bitweaker, and can work with her while still posting items on the board for everyone to benefit from. Thiswould make her feel more recognised as an individual, improving her overall engagement with thematerial being presented.”With a constant focus in education being on targeting core skills, teachers must continually work totackle potential issues, as Sinéad discusses: “Working at secondary level with older students, it is easyto assume that when they reach 16 years old that they can read and write to an adequate standard,but sometimes students can slip the net. I have discovered since using the Mobi View that I getnumerous comments like “oh, is that how you spell that?” as we write up their ideas. I think that theMobi View could really help with literacy and numeracy – key skills that can often present a barrier tothe learning journey if not tackled effectively.” Blog : - - - - - -
  4. 4. Future plansThe success of the Mobi View in lessons at St Vincent’s has led to a desire to explore its use morewidely across the curriculum, as Sinéad explains: “Our principal in particular, as a former maths and ITteacher believes that the device could really help engage students in these subjects and will beexploring its use next term. As part of this, I am going to demonstrate the Mobi View to other staff toshow just how it works and its potential. The students themselves have already voiced their supportfor the Mobi View, and have pledged to petition the principal to equip the school with more!” ABOUT eInstruction eInstruction offers a family of software, student response systems, traditional and mobile interactive whiteboards, data reporting and analysis tools, and high quality content. These solutions increase student engagement, provide real-time feedback, and enable educators to assess comprehension and customise lessons in more than 500 000 classrooms around the world. eInstruction eInstruction EMEA - APAC Global Headquarters 26-36 rue Alfred Nobel 14400 N. 87th Street, Suite 250 93600 Aulnay-Sous-Bois Scottsdale, AZ 85260 France USA Blog : - - - - - -