Joliet Catholic Academy understands the importance of education and technology working hand in hand to enhance the learning experience, preparing students for a successful future. JCA seeks to challenge all students with a rigorous curriculum, utilizing state of the art technology and the most current trends in curriculum integration. It is JCA’s goal to provide all students with access to digital curricular content and the latest productivity applications; training in the use of applications that enhance learning, and coursework in digital citizenship for the appropriate and responsible technology use.
JCA strongly believes that the 1:1 Technology Initiative supports its mission, “to cultivate opportunities for academic excellence.” JCA is 1:1 during the 2016-2017 school year with all freshman and sophomores using Lenovo N22 laptops. Teachers have been trained and are prepared and excited to work with all students using the latest technology available to provide new and unique learning opportunities. The benefits of going 1:1 are limitless and include opportunities such as:
- Increased student-centered learning
- Enhanced student and teacher collaboration
- Increased student engagement, accountability, and creativity
- Efficient feedback on formative and summative assessments
- Organization of notes, homework, tests, and projects all in one device
Student accountability will increase, as they will be able to access their schoolwork and notes from anywhere, eliminating times where they may forget important study materials in lockers or classrooms.
A state of the art facility where the students have a quiet and comfortable environment to do schoolwork on their laptops. For students without laptops, there are three labs fully equipped with PCs. Teaching stations with projectors provide opportunities for modeling during instruction. Also, with the new Office 365 initiative, even students without laptops will be able to work on their schoolwork and access their files stored in OneDrive.
Lab computers have been equipped with the latest Adobe Creative Suite which gives students access to programs like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for photo processing, Adobe Premiere for making videos, Adobe In Design, and Adobe Illustrator for Yearbook and Newspaper. The complete Adobe Creative Suites, which are normally a $600/year cost to the public, are available in the labs to JCA students at no additional cost.
JCA also is continuing the tradition of the JCA Tech Club, which meets in the Computer Center twice each week after school to broaden the minds of those students interested in technology. The members will have access to fun and exciting projects not available in the classroom environments.
Microsoft Innovation for Education and Increased Savings for Families
JCA’s 1:1 initiative is based on the Microsoft/Windows 10 Platform. All student computers are equipped with Office 365 and each student has a JCA email account through Microsoft Outlook. With the Office 365 accounts, students have access to the complete Office Suite of programs, as well as OneNote, One Drive, and all other free Microsoft applications. Office365 is also provided for all current juniors and seniors. With the school Office365 accounts, each student is allowed to install Office Pro on up to five devices at home and those licenses will stay active for as long as they are students at JCA. This alone provides a value that can be realized at up to $120 per year, which more than makes up for the one-time cost of purchasing the Lenovo N22 laptop at $215.99.
Technology in the Classroom
All classrooms are equipped with the latest technology needed to ensure an education that prepares students to be ready for a future filled with endless possibilities. With Microsoft Innovations for Education, teachers and students have a wide variety of programs available to them to aid in doing everything from organization to collaboration to innovation and creativity. Examples include: OneNote Class Notebooks, Mix, Sway, Yammer, Skype, Socrative, Graphing Calculator, AutoCollage, and CronoZoom.
Plus Portals is an avenue for parents, students and teachers to communicate and share information such as: course expectations, course syllabus, assignments, grades, and E-mail communication between teachers and parents/students.
In this age of smart phones, tablets and wearable devices, students encounter technology everywhere in their daily lives. “The mission of JCA is to ‘inspire growth in knowledge and faith’ and to ‘cultivate opportunities for academic excellence,’ said Laura Pahl, JCA’s Vice Principal of Curriculum and Technology. “Today’s world is a very different experience for students than it was just ten years ago. Young people are constantly encountering technology throughout their lives. However, we must remember that technology is just a tool; it is up to us as educators to teach our students. The difference for us is our curriculum will determine how the technology is used; we will not let technology determine our curriculum. Incorporating technology into our curriculum will ensure that students are using it responsibly. When our seniors graduate, we want them to understand technology across multiple platforms, preparing them for whatever field they enter.”