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Technology is focus of Pacelli Catholic Schools Week

Smartboards, laptops and iPads. The tools in the classroom have evolved with technology, which was exactly what Pacelli Catholic Schools highlighted during its fourth annual open house Wednesday as part of Catholic Schools Week.

The evening consisted of a variety of technology related activities in the classrooms at all grade levels at Pacelli.

"Technology is our world," said Anna Doyle, in her first year as a science teacher at the high school. "If they don't learn how to use it now, when are they going to?"

Doyle integrates technology on a daily basis, and the Smartboard response system is a big part of that. Students have a remote control they can use to answer questions, which helps them get "engaged in the lesson," Doyle said.

For example, instead of giving a short quiz with pencils and paper, students will use the response system to answer. They also get to have instant feedback so they know immediately what their understanding is of that material.


Mary Gilles, high school math, and Beth Noble, high school Spanish, also use the Smartboards daily in their instruction.

"We use it in geometry all the time," Gilles said.

It's much easier to draw shapes and straight lines with the help of a Smartboard, rather than a basic whiteboard or chalkboard, Gilles said. Students can either use their finger on the board or special markers to add color.

"A Smartboard's like a big mouse pad," Noble said.

The high school has a 1-to-1 laptop ratio for students. Those are helpful for online programs, solving math problems online, sending in assignments electronically and taking notes.

Despite all of these gadgets, pencil and paper haven't quite disappeared from the classroom. In case you're wondering, old-fashioned, hand-crank pencil sharpeners are still mounted to the walls.

"We use all methods," Noble said. "Some things you can't do on a computer.

"It has not replaced, it's enhanced."


The event marked midweek for a series of themed days for students. In addition, there is a book fair going on all week in the middle school/high school library. Today, there is an all-school rosary and an all-school mass will be Friday.

"Faith can be in every subject area," said Mary Holtorf, elementary principal. "In our society, we need that."

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