St Pius X National School, Dublin

Sixth class students at St Pius X National school use Promise IT to Rehab Recycle donations to learn computer programming skills.

The students at St. Pius X Boys National School in Dublin benefited from the donation of 5 computers to the school through Promise IT to Rehab Recycle, we caught up with teacher Liam Gaynor and the 6th class students to see how they are using the equipment.

St Pius X has a computer room with 18 PC’s and an interactive whiteboard in each classroom. The students interact on a daily basis with IT in the classroom and once a week benefit from computer classes. The introduction to IT starts in junior infants using content rich software, as the students progress they begin to use content free software like Simple, Logo, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint developing computer skills that will benefit them throughout their education and working lives.

During our visit we sat in on a class about computer programming. The students showed a keen interest in the demonstration by Mr. Gaynor and were clearly eager to try it for themselves! Much discussion ensued as students set about the task of actually programming the desktops to create shapes and make them move.

Using a computer programming tool called Simple, the students wrote programming codes to create graphics on the screen, they then programmed the shapes to make them move, disappear and reappear. The class took a truly interactive from as groups gathered around PC’s discussing the shapes they wanted, the colours to be used and the animation to take place, hands were raised, questions asked and answered with the lesson culminating in an explosion of colour and animation from each screen.

It was fantastic to see computers that had been donated by Promise IT to Rehab Recycle being put to such good use – not only for the teaching of IT skills but also in encouraging team work, the development of a theme, and interaction between students to achieve a common goal.

This commitment to developing the IT skills of the students can only continue if they have access to equipment, interactive whiteboards are a significant investment costing upwards of €3000, each whiteboard needs a computer or laptop to power it – it’s easy to see where school budgets get used. However with donations schemes like Promise IT to Rehab Recycle, schools have greater access to vital low cost IT equipment that comes with a Microsoft operating system.

St Pius X places significant emphasis on the instruction of IT skills to all students from an early age, learning about using computers begins in infants and is developed throughout the student’s time in the school. The school prides itself not only on the academic accolades achieved like the Junior Engineering Class of Ireland, but also on sporting achievements such as All Ireland U13 Olympic Handball Champions and arts achievements like appearing as part of the National Children’s Choir in the National Concert Hall.

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