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placeholder In their own words

Biomedical sciences program begins at St. Joseph Notre Dame

Welcome Moreau Catholic's new principal

St. Elizabeth
students are
on a mission

Salesian introduces transportation
service for
commuting students

Younger students
find their voices with
Bishop O'Dowd
debaters' help

'Digital De La Salle'
puts educational
power in every
student's hands

Blessing of the
animals, 2013

Oakland A's pitch in
at St. Vincent de Paul
Dining Room

Opinions divided
on Syria strike at
Saint Mary's

In Berkeley, prayers
for peace in Syria

placeholder September 23, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
'Digital De La Salle' puts educational power
in every student's hands

A student works on a computer at De La Salle high.
Courtesy photo

De La Salle High School is committed to working out the best answers to the many questions that arise in a world where knowledge is power, and increasingly knowledge is powered — powered by the little battery in a cellphone or tablet.

Bring Your Own Device — in De La Salle's case, they could also be interpreted to indicate its "Bold Yet Organized Development" of best practices in the use of digital technology.

The Student-Parent Handbook states: "De La Salle High School operates within a "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) environment. This means that there is no particular technology device required for school-wide use. For the 2013-2014 school year, using a device is strongly encouraged. Devices can be of several types and makes: laptops, net books, tablets, smartphones. De La Salle High School recognizes that not all students have the resources to acquire devices. De La Salle may be able to assist students with access to devices for academic work. As a BYOD school, De La Salle maintains a robust wireless network for student use."

Device carts: Apart from leveraging students' own devices, teachers have access to wheeled carts loaded with devices, from iPads and Surface tablets to netbooks and laptops; students at De La Salle are exposed to a variety of devices and platforms.

Digital Boot Camp: Boot camp sounds like drill sergeants and obstacle courses. But the Digital Boot Camp on campus in August 2013 wasn't so rough. For two hours, students were oriented to the school's online system, achieved successful login and got some hands-on experience with an array of online tools, including the Google Apps for Education suite of products, which are in standard use schoolwide.

Training for everyone: Ongoing learning and training are key. Teachers experiment with a variety of tech tools, demonstrating for colleagues their pedagogical use and faculty in-service days provide for shared training and discussion. With parents as partners, an effort at ongoing input, discussion and skill-building is underway both for parents and tech-savvy teens. De La Salle provides ongoing support and resources to the parent community around educational technology.

As Michael Aquino, social studies instructor and Educational Technology Integration Director, says, "We are an educational community—students, parents, faculty and staff—working together to access the knowledge and power of the digital realm. We want to teach our students to see the digital world, as they should the rest of the world, through the lens of our Lasallian charism—to use these tools skillfully, appropriately, and wisely, for the sake of learning and the sake of justice."

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