Mercy Secondary School Inchicore

Distance Learning at Mercy Secondary School

The following information is provided to show what schooling in a remote setting will look like at our school.
08-January-21

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Distance Learning
Mercy Secondary School

Introduction

The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020, Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Assessment1 (Digital Strategy) recognises that digital technologies can play a central role in transforming learning, teaching and assessment practices for teachers and students in a high-quality 21st century education system. The ultimate long term goal for our school is embedding digital technologies into all areas of school activity.

In light of the current pandemic, now is the time to introduce further development in this area to ensure a natural transmission to teaching and learning in a remote setting if it is deemed necessary in the future. This document will focus on the changes implemented to further enhance the use of digital technology in school to show how our school community is both equipped and skilled in this area. The document also tries to show what schooling in a remote setting may look like.

Applications

The applications that will be used for distance learning at Mercy Secondary School will primarily be:

G-Suite

  • Gmail
  • Google classroom
  • Google slides
  • Google forms
  • Google docs
  • Google sites
  • Google meet

Other applications may be used and recommended by teachers for both teaching and learning but all remote learning activities will be communicated through Google Classroom which ensures that each student's work is streamlined and privacy is maintained through the need of a school account that requires a username and password to gain access.

What is distance learning?

Distance learning is a flexible method of study which enables you to study from your home using materials and instructions provided by the school or subject teacher. In the case of distance learning, a class timetable will be shared with each class and new lessons and assignments will be uploaded online through Google classroom and will be visible at the time of each lesson unless otherwise stated. Students will be expected to sign into the Google classroom that corresponds to the class they are timetabled for and log in and engage with the materials provided.

Blended learning approach

Blended learning is a modern approach that combines traditional classroom methods with the use of digital technology.

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Mercy Secondary School has endeavored to improve access and use of digital technologies and resources for our school community. Mercy Secondary is committed to improving access to devices for each student in the school. Not every student in Mercy Secondary School has access to a device but it is something we are working towards. In order to ease the transition to a potential remote learning situation, Google Classroom is being used in all subjects, in particular when engaging with students' homework.

What will remote learning look like in Mercy Secondary School?

In the event of a school closure, our school will transition to a remote learning format. This means that all the students will continue engaging with the school curriculum but all classes will move to an online setting. This kind of setting is known as an O.L.E. or an online learning environment.

Each student has an active Gmail account that ends with @mercyinchicore.ie. The students username and password for their Gmail account will give them access to a whole suite of apps.

Students will send and receive all their work by using Google Classroom. The purpose of this application is to ease the process of sharing and sending files between teachers and students. This method of delivering work will simplify the creating, distributing and grading of school work in an online setting.

When a student logs into Google classroom they will notice a separate class for each of their subjects. Google Classroom is accessed at https://classroom.google.com/

Once the student clicks into their Google class they can look for the latest assignments or communication from the teacher.

The student can access the classwork by clicking the latest assignment or communication from the teacher. The assignments are dated and the latest assignments are positioned at the top of the list.

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Everyone’s Responsibilities while partaking in distance learning

For staff and teachers

  • Teachers will have overall control of their particular Google Classrooms
  • Teachers will do their best to be available during the stated time on the timetable, any different arrangements can be communicated through Google Classroom.
  • Classes can be synchronous or asynchronous depending on what is more suited to the work and classroom environment. (Synchronous classes are in the same place (online or in classroom), at the same time, so all activities happen in real time. Allows for live communication; great for discussions, Q&As, and other real-time activities.) (Asynchronous means not in real-time. Teaching materials are posted online, and students can work through them in their own time, communicating with each other and the teacher via comments on Google Classroom.)

For students:

  • Students must communicate with their @mercyinchicore.ie account only.
  • Students must be respectful with any comments or communication using the school online learning environment
  • You cannot record or forward any content used in Google Classroom without permission of the creator of the content
  • All online activity is recorded and logged. This includes anything you comment on in Classroom, email or Google meet. This includes monitoring of engagement with the work.
  • Each student has their own timetable when it comes to engaging with their online work. Students should expect responses and feedback from teachers during school hours only.

For parents

  • Parents should ensure that their child is checking in regularly for assigned work and completing tasks assigned to them.
  • Live online classes are to be viewed by the student only, this is to ensure that every student is safe online.
  • Try to keep the area where the student works as quiet as possible to ensure they can properly engage to the best of their abilities.



Resources

  1. https://www.pdst.ie/DistanceLearning
  2. https://classroom.google.com/
  3. https://www.webwise.ie/parents/
  4. https://cybersafeireland.org/parents/
  5. https://www.sess.ie/dyslexia-section/using-ict-home

Live online classes (Google Meet)

Teachers may deliver some of the course “live” using Google meet. These classes may include a screen share of other resources like slideshow presentations.

In the use of Google meet:

  • Students must follow the direction of their teacher just as in the classroom, the teacher can control your access to the camera or microphone and could be turned off if necessary
  • A link to google meet is intended for students of Mercy Secondary School only, do not forward a link to anyone else. The link will be shared on Google Classroom.
  • Google meet sessions may be recorded for students to watch again later on.
  • Only a teacher is allowed to record a session. No one else is permitted to record.
  • If a student is disruptive in the live classroom, they will be removed from the live class.




Thomas Davis Street West, Goldenbridge, Inchicore, Dublin.
01 453 1262
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