21k12 is dedicated to celebrating, and reflecting upon, 21st century learning, everywhere and at St. Gregory.   Our new 1:1 laptop program,Wings, has launched, and our student newspaper, The Gregorian Chant, published this piece on the top of the front page, by freshman student Jafe Arnold.

For the 2010-2011 school year, St. Gregory has launched a new laptop integration program. The hope is to technologically advance students and faculty into an education experience that is exciting, promotes learning, and is engaging to students.  According to Mr. Martin’s blog, 21k12, the essential goal of the program is to “exploit the power of digital technology to collaborate, communicate, and create on-line– and develop exactly the critical skills necessary for success in our new global economy”.

Students and teachers have stated that the program is successful and useful as a tool in order to expand the education experience here at St. Gregory. Dr. Oubre, English teacher said that she felt that “though there are many minor bugs and glitches, it is totally worth it”, and that “so far, everything is going pretty smoothly”.

Grant Ross, freshman, when weighing pros and cons, stated that “the idea is a really good one, and it’s really worked out…and has been dominated mostly by pros”.

The laptop program has set St. Gregory apart from other schools, giving it a valuable education with more alternatives to traditional classroom work. Recently reviewed by Fox 11 AZ, even the local media has addressed the new laptop integration trend. Reporters interviewed middle school students and teachers at St. Gregory in order to observe the project in action, and gather opinions on the overall change of traditional ways the program requires.

Having laptops in the classroom, however, has led to some frustration and controversy among some teachers that claim the laptops are too big of a distraction to students, and are being misused on a daily basis.  According to Dr. Oubre, for the most part, “students are doing what they should be, but there are some times when I’m not sure they are all in the same place.”  Dr. Oubre’s thought on the issue shows that there is a trust issue, but for the majority of the time, teachers and faculty are trying to trust the integrity of the students to uphold good standards, and use the program responsibly.  It was Mr. Martin’s speech, “W.IN.G.S. and  ROOTS”, that addressed the student body about the ideas, hopes, and trust behind the laptop integration.

The integration of laptop technology into the classrooms is vital to both learning and teaching.  It is helping out eager students, just as much as it is giving teachers the easy accessibility to advantageous teaching tools.  Though it is still debatable that the overall results of the program are worth the immediate trouble,  this newly installed component of modern technology has no doubt given St. Gregory College Preparatory the “21st century education” it has been yearning for.