Surface Go and Office 365 enables innovative learning in St Brogan’s College
As a co-educational school in Bandon, Co. Cork with 600 students, St Brogan’s College took the decision to give all staff and students training and access to technology for learning to ensure the best teaching and learning experience for all. Having recently been awarded Microsoft Showcase School status, principal Helen Cadogan tells us how introducing Microsoft Surface Gos and Office 365 has enhanced student teacher collaboration and enabled increased support for student learning.
Why integrate technology into teaching and learning
As leaders of learning in our school, we felt it was important to invest in our teachers and their professional development as per the Digital Learning Framework and to provide each of them with a device to develop our teachers’ individual practice.
Having undertaken extensive research on the experiences of other schools in terms of the process they went through and the teaching and learning benefits, we decided that we would provide a Surface Go for each teacher in the school and roll out a three-year plan of training and professional development for all staff.
Why Microsoft Surface Go and Office 365
St Brogans College was amongst the first schools to begin teaching a new short course for the Junior Cycle in IT. We focused on Office 365 in this training as we found that it offers an integrated and comprehensive package of programs to suit all our needs. We also felt that this was the platform our students would be using when they went on to college and work so these were the skills we wanted our students to have. Being familiar with Office 365 means that our students have the skills they need to make full use of the technology to complete CBAs and enhance their learning.
How we made this investment achievable and sustainable
In order to invest in a device for each teacher we needed to look at the financial implications. We knew that this could not be a one-off investment if we were expecting our teachers to engage in a process of upskilling and training and to utilise the devices to improve teaching and learning.
Entering into the Device as a Service model with Wriggle for three years means we pay quarterly for the use of devices, training and management of all devices by Wriggle and at the end of the three years we return the devices and again look for an agreement for new devices for the next three years. This means we know exactly how much this will cost out of the school budget each year and we know there won’t be additional training or maintenance costs. This allows the school to manage its budget effectively and ensure we continue to offer the service to our teachers and students.
Another challenge all schools face is time. We engaged with Wriggle’s on-staff teachers to train our staff on how to get the best use out of their Surface Gos for teaching and learning. They organised the setting up of each device and provided training on how to literally go from taking them out of the box to being up and running.
The Benefits we’ve seen
Giving all our teachers a Surface Go has hugely improved the teaching experience. Teachers are free to move around the room while they teach with their mobile device. They are using the devices to show samples of best practice, video experiments and practical work and to give and receive feedback and encourage learner voice. Students have access to teachers notes, presentations, sample answers and board work at home so they can revise work done in school. Students also use the Office 365 suite to organise and store their notes and to email teachers with homework or questions.
We have noticed that students are now much more engaged in their learning and that there has been a big increase in collaboration between staff and subject departments. Staff have stated that having individual mobile devices saves them time and students have reported that they have greater support with their learning with instant access to video tutorials and feedback from teachers.
to find out more about how Wriggle can help you easily integrate Surface Go or Office 365 for Education to enhance learning in your school.