The 2017/18 school year has been a very exciting and innovative one for IT at St. Gerald’s DLS College. Firstly, the computers in our labs have been upgraded with the most up to date software available for all the students’ needs. Every classroom is equipped with a projector, speakers and a teacher laptop. Every 1st year student is provided with a Google suite account – this gives them access to a wide range of applications. They are also provided with Microsoft Office which they can install on 5 devices of their choice.
This year also saw the introduction of coding, this is additional to Digital Media Literacy which was introduced last year. These are two new short courses for the new Junior Cycle – Digital Media Literacy and Coding.
Computer Science is present in every aspect of modern society. Fundamental understanding of how software and computers operate and relate to everyday life is an increasingly important area of learning for students.
So far, the coding course is proving to be a great success – problem solving and computational thinking skills are developed in this course as students build and create software projects using their own ideas and imagination. The course also offers students who may be interested in future studies in computer science and software engineering, a deeper insight into these areas.
The course aims to develop the students’ ability to formulate problems logically; to design, write and test code; to develop games, apps, animations and website, and through these learning activities, to learn about computer science.
Students are encouraged to think for themselves and work both independently and in groups. The 1st year class now have their own class web page which they will be using to showcase all their great work.
For their summer assessment all of the students designed and developed a game/application of their choice using Scratch programming. The students worked extremely hard during the course of the year and this is evident, as the high standard of projects produced was beyond expectations. In 2nd and 3rd year the students will learn HTML coding and Python.