In 2012, we launched a pilot program where a select group of students were given several different tablets to use in order to evaluate their performance and ease of use as it relates to education. After several months and numerous tablets tested, the iPad was selected unanimously as the peripheral of choice.
Based on these findings, in 2013 we rolled out our Seamless Online Learning Environment with the iPad as one of the main components replacing notebooks, textbooks, pens, and pencils.
Since Sea was one of the first Catholic High Schools in the nation to undertake such an endeavor, our program was featured on NY1 News. Since the story ran, we’ve not only fully integrated the program, but have also renovated the library (where the story was filmed) and all of our classrooms.
All Sea students receive their own iPad Air which comes pre-loaded with access to their Blackboard Account, as well as the Pearson App which contains all of their textbooks. No more notebooks, textbooks, pens and pencils! The iPad is backed through Google Drive and insured meaning no matter what happens to the device, your student will not only receive a new one but also have access to their notes and work from high school throughout college. Moreover, we have a new every two program whereby students receive the latest edition of the iPad as a Freshman and than again as a Junior.
Blackboard Learn sits at the heart of our Seamless Online Learning Environment. Used by more than 80% of colleges and universities across the country, Blackboard creates a unique profile for each of our students. This profile contains a personalized calendar with exams, homework, sports, clubs etc. and also serves as the primary interface between students and teachers. Submit homework, ask teachers questions, download entire PowerPoint presentations and worksheets, and more. Sea gets students accustomed to using Blackboard from day 1, giving them a competitive advantage when entering college.
In addition to our classrooms recently being renovated and including air conditioning for comfort, our Smart Classrooms are Wi-Fi enabled and feature Smart Boards, teacher kiosks, and the ability for students to interact with each in real time via discussion boards. Teachers are able to display a lesson on the Smart Board which students can then download to their iPads and take notes on. Student iPads are backed up internally on secure servers the minute they hit our Wi-Fi which allows us to instantly restore all saved information with the click of a button.
ExamSoft Testing Software
In 2014, Sea added the final component to its Seamless Online Learning Environment and made history doing so. The integration of ExamSoft allows students to take tests directly on their iPad and receive grades instantly. Moreover, teachers are able to review tests and add comments so students are able to learn from any mistakes. These grades are than immediately posted in the students Blackboard account. In a press release put out by executives at ExamSoft, they acknowledge Sea as being, “The first High School in the country to leverage this college-level software for its students.”