Building Leaders with Yesterday’s Values and Tomorrow’s Technology

With one foot in the past, the students and teachers of Saint Anthony Parish School in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, are boldly stepping into the future. The students are learning about traditional subjects—math, English, history, and so on—within the context of the timeless moral tradition of their Catholic faith. However, as a result of ongoing development, the Saint Anthony students are doing so with the added help of cutting edge technology—including SMART Boards in the computer lab and in each of their regular classrooms.

Through a true community effort, the parish, the teachers, the administration, and the parents at Saint Anthony’s have demonstrated a long-term commitment to building up the school’s technology resources over the years, and they continue to do so. With a large computer lab, networked computers in every classroom, wireless notebook computers for library use, and a top notch group of IT professionals as volunteers, the integration of  SMART boards in every classroom represents another giant step forward for both the teachers and the students. Through this technology, teachers are better able to engage students with diverse learning styles and/or who are operating at varying skill levels; that means greater success for everyone involved.

In talking with teachers and students at St. Anthony’s, the excitement is tangible, and when you walk down the halls to peek in the classrooms, it is easy to see that each time St. Anthony’s plugs in a new piece of technology, it is the students who get more energy. As Mr. Fedie, the social studies and 6th-grade homeroom teacher, explained, “The SMART Board has really made my classes more interactive and helped upgrade all of the things I did before. Students’ focus has increased [. . .] and everyone wants to get involved. Even basic things like note-taking, videos, and map activities are more fun because of the technology and the active learning taking place.”