St. Charles Catholic takes a technological step towards forward

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – St. Charles Catholic High School is riding the technology wave of the future. The school received a $1.2 million dollar grant from the Archdiocese of New Orleans to fund the issuing of laptop computers for their students.

The school distributed Ienovo IBM Think Pads to the senior class on Tuesday morning. The computers allow students to take organized notes with a Microsoft program called &#8220OneNote.”

&#8220OneNote” allows students to take handwritten notes on the screen. It also has the capabilities to convert the handwritten notes into text and organizes notes into outline formats.

&#8220It’s innovative,” said Jonathan Poche, a senior at St. Charles. &#8220You can free write and convert it into text.”

According to Principal Andrew Cupit, with about 80 percent of St. Charles students pursuing a college education, this new technology is preparing students for that next level of education, as well as real world jobs.

&#8220First, it introduces technology,” said Cupit. &#8220It prepares them (students) for using them (computers). You can take notes and put things in outline form, you can highlight important thingsŠ”

Assistant Principal Doug Triche acknowledges the importance of the future of technology and education.

&#8220Eventually we’ll be able to work toward going paperless, not only paperless notebooks, but students will be able to access online textbooks,” said Triche.

The laptops are not just for note-taking. They also allow teachers and students to access videos and interactive learning programs online as opposed to learning from a dated, hard cover textbook.

&#8220I think they’re great,” said Vincent Rollo, a senior at St. Charles. &#8220You get to carry less books in your school bag.”

Cupit also said the students’ activities on the computers are heavily monitored. There are firewalls put in place by the Archdiocese that keeps students from accessing instant messenger and unapproved Web sites.

The $1,800 computers are insured, but the students are responsible for any damages to their computers. At the end of the school year, the computers are returned to the school and reissued the following year.

St. Charles is one of five schools in the Archdiocese to receive grant money for wireless computers for their students. Pope John Paul, Shaw and Archbishop Hannan are among the other schools receiving grants.