Jimmy Finn is the Headmaster of St. Colman’s School, in Claremorris, County Mayo. The school is leading the way in replacing text books with iPads for its new first year students commencing this September.
The ICT coordinator Daniel Hyland and Deputy Principal Pat Kane came up with the idea of providing an original approach to learning and accessing the numerous resources that are available to students online and via all the apps in the Apple App Store.
With more e-books becoming available, the school believed that iPads should become a necessity as the upcoming Junior Cert syllabus is being made available online. The iPad, being quite a robust and secure system and with a long lasting battery, made an ideal choice.
The school has always been progressive and has had an Apple media room on the premises for the past 15 years. In 2005 and 2006 they established a PC/multimedia room. This was done with the support of local businesses that provided funding for the room. The Apple suite gave much needed ICT access to all the students on a regular basis.
With iPads and e-book readers costing between €750 and €790, the school saw the need to involve the local Claremorris Credit Union. They negotiated with the Credit Union to provide loans at a rate of 4.79% which works out at €23 per month over three years. This makes buying the device affordable for parents who have other costs such as uniforms and other levies.