One year after launching the iPad, Archbishop McCarthy High School continues to lead in the integration of technology introduces the iLounge
Submitted by Valerie Moran
SOUTHWEST RANCHES, FL — No one enjoys a challenge as much as Richard P. Jean, principal at Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches. In less than two school years, Jean, who was appointed principal in 2010, has fully integrated Apple technology into the Archbishop McCarthy culture. “People told me it could not be done,” stated Jean. “That made me more determined.”
Over the past two years Jean and staff members have immersed themselves into taking the biggest bite of the Apple possible. “Some educators are nervous about trying something new, never mind implementing it and many educators come from the Do Not Touch generation,” Jean stated. “This generation is about touch this, touch that and they don’t hold back. Just watch how fast a student can fly through their iPhone or iPad,” continued Jean.
“As educators we have to lead by example; be up to speed. We have to teach students the most effective way to learn, provide them the best opportunities and help them be as prepared as possible to face college and the world in which they will navigate.”
Jean continues to develop and enhance the Archbishop McCarthy “culture of technology”. This year in less than six months’ time, Jean has had Apple TV’s installed in every classroom, hired Les Brown to be Archbishop McCarthy’s 21st Century Instruction and Learning Coordinator (Brown will assist the faculty toward the complete integration of technology into the curriculum). Jean also had Ed Line updated (to make it easier for parents), installed a state-of-the-art security system (al-lowing staff to view every angle of the campus inside and out from the iPad), and unveiled a new website (www.mccarthyhigh.org). Most recently, Jean unveiled the iLounge (formerly known as the Library/Media Center). The iLounge mirrors a university setting where students sit on couches, rugs, or chairs.
Students can check out e-books (free for 30 days), work on projects via their iPad and/or catch up with friends. The newly refurbished iLounge pro-vides a balance, intense work is done faster, the inviting environment encourages students to stay and continue working longer. Students learn and can share ideas with fellow students. “This is the ‘new’ way student’s research – sitting on a rug, not getting off the couch,” continued Jean.
“The plan to complete our Archbishop McCarthy culture of technology by 2013 is on track. The iLounge will also support the development of academic and social skills,” Jean concluded, as he pointed to groups of students sitting on couches and rugs (where stacks of Library shelves used to stand). “The iLounge is amazing,” commented Supervising Principal Father Brendan Dalton, who also serves as pastor of Saint Bernadette Catholic School.
“Students are sitting on a couch, a rug using their iPads and with a flick of a finger, in mere moments they access the most up-to-date information! Richard and his team are preparing our students for college and beyond,” concluded Dalton.