Education

St. Andrew's School launches pilot digital literacy program

March 25, 2015

St Andrew's School, The International School of The Bahamas, has introduced a pilot digital literacy program for Year 6 students by bringing 45 Chromebook laptops and the "Google for Education" suite of apps, books and videos to the classroom.
The software, which is free to schools, allows users to create, share and edit files in real time, greatly increasing productivity as well as interaction and collaboration between students and teachers. Each user receives a Gmail account, and projects are automatically saved on the Cloud for safety and easy access at any time from any computer, tablet or phone.
Almost a year in the testing stage, the program was funded by the St Andrew's School parent teacher association (PTA). Custom Computers Ltd., which supplied the Chromebooks, also made a $5,000 donation to assist with its introduction.
The initiative is part of the school's broader mission of providing a high quality international education that prepares its students to thrive in a changing world, said Principal/CEO Robert Stitch.
"Today, IT (information technology) is not a different, separate subject to be studied in a lab; it's much like literacy and numeracy, and our plan is to fully integrate it into the school's curriculum," he said. "This program will provide the students with extensive, hands-on experience that is critical to developing life skills and succeeding in the 21st century."
The soft trial currently underway will last through the end of the summer term and include a student showcase for parents on May 5.
In the meantime, digital literacy is already a hit with both the children and staff.
"The kids are really excited," said Stacey Fuderer, one of the five teachers currently on the platform. "They like the fact that everything is accessible and organized, so when they save a document it's all within their drive. They don't have to carry around a USB stick anymore. Everything's online; they can access their work at home as well as at school. Also, the students are really excited about sharing their work with each other, so that they can get feedback from their peers as well as from me."
Year 6 student Alexandro Casu said it was actually easier.
"When you go on Gmail, there's this little square where you can see all the documents. You can always create one, and you can name it, so it's easy for you to find them."
The children will keep their Gmail accounts throughout their career at the school. Since their portfolios are saved on the Cloud, they will be able to refer to all of the work they have done in previous years until they graduate.
The school chose Google for Education not only because it offers a quality suite of products free of charge, but also because the Chromebooks needed to participate are relatively inexpensive, said Chad Strachan, director of management information systems at St Andrew's. He said the school expects to move to a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model as the program expands, and that the affordability of the devices to parents is important.
"In the long term, another advantage of the program is that it eliminates the need for students to keep printing out drafts of their work, since teachers can comment and edit online. This will greatly assist in the school's mission to be green," said Strachan.
St. Andrew's School is a certified Eco-School, with standards that they need to keep up with. The new program will allow the school to save a lot of paper, Strachan said.
It is expected that the integration of Google for Education at St Andrew's will gradually expand to other grades, and eventually include the whole school.
"Moving forward it only can get better, because you can integrate not only laptops but tablets," said Strachan. "In the meantime, the teachers are also continuing to learn about all of the possibilities presented by this platform, and they find it fun and interesting."

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You are unique!

March 25, 2015

There are some things that we all need to be reminded of again, and one of these important things is contained in the title of today's article "You are Unique!" Yes you are. God created all of us in his image and likeness, which simply means that we are in effect God-like as the spirit of God dwells within us all at the very center of our being. He also made each and every one of us to be unique, with unique, special talents with which to succeed at everything that we undertake in life.
And yet there are millions, no perhaps billions of people spread throughout this great big world of ours who either "A" have not been made aware of this fact of life, or "B" don't really believe that they are unique, that there is literally no one else in the whole wide world who is exactly like them. Interpol, the international policing organization which tracks criminals all over the world are able to track these people to the four corners of the world and identify them through their fingerprints, because there are not two sets of fingerprints which are exactly alike. This is an undeniable fact.
So my friend, I do sincerely hope and pray that you finally fully understand that you are unique. There is no one in the world that is exactly like you. So in effect, you are very special and you need to fully appreciate this fact and thus see yourself in a whole new positive light. Of course, the main reason why some people are not aware of their own uniqueness, their specialness is that they have just not been told the truth, thus they spend their whole lives trying to imitate and be just like others. What a tragedy.
Yes my friend, you are unique. And please, for your sake, don't you ever forget it. So, you need to stop trying to imitate others, especially sports stars, recording artists and television personalities as unfortunately many do, especially many of the young people who for example all seem to want to dress alike, wear the same brand name clothes, sneakers, etc. Please will you realize and fully accept the fact, that you're a very unique child of God and thus learn to be very proud of you, of the unique, special, talented you God created and thus strive daily to be all that you can be.
Think about it!

o Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com#mce_temp_url#.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Governor General Youth Award marches on despite cutbacks

March 25, 2015

Heading into the fifth year of its government partnership, the Governor General's Youth Award (GGYA), the nation's premier youth program continues to post steady growth, according to statistics coming out of its annual general meeting held over the weekend at Government House.
"The GGYA has done, I think, the best job in the region, certainly, the best job in this country in youth work," said Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture, Dr. Daniel Johnson.
With government battling the twin scourge of youth crime and unemployment, Johnson recommitted his ministry's financial resources to the youth self-development program that is well-known for its hiking and camping out (adventurous journey) component.
"You can absolutely rely on our continuous support," he pledged. "If I could get a good argument from you, we can increase our support."
In 2014, there were 1,909 GGYA participants in 56 units supervised by 137 volunteers.
Units were located in New Providence (28), Grand Bahama (11), Abaco (5), Eleuthera (4), Exuma (2), Andros (2) and one each in the Berry Islands, Bimini, Inagua and Long Island.
Last year, new units were launched at C.H. Reeves Junior School, New Providence Classical School, Alpha Omega Christian School in Freeport, Agape Christian Academy in Abaco and the Deep Creek Middle School in Eleuthera.
Moreover, the GGYA was amongst the first in the region to secure a new license from its United Kingdom-based governing body, the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award.
The GGYA placed fourth in the number of awards presented, and number of participants in the Americas region, behind Canada, Brazil and the United States.
Its 1,909 participants amounted to an increase of 11 percent, according to executive director Denise Mortimer.
The organization presented 612 Awards in 2014, an increase of 19 percent.
"These accomplishments were only achieved through the hard work, sacrifice and dedication of our entire GGYA team," said Sir Orville Turnquest, chairman of the GGYA's Board of Trustees.
"For our young participants I wish to encourage you to strive for excellence. You are our future leaders."
In spite of many obstacles, the organization was able to execute all of its financial obligations in a timely manner, said Everette Mackey, treasurer for the GGYA's management council.
"Our donations were down compared to 2013 and the government's grant was also reduced as felt by all other organizations in the country. However, the GGYA marched on," he said.
"In 2015, we will have to again tighten our belt and be more stringent in our spending ... some cuts are foreseeable if the present trend continues. However, we are hopeful that eventually we will return to pre-2014 funding levels."
Immediately following the AGM, 28 youths received their Gold Award certificate and pin from Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling.
To be eligible for Gold, Silver Award holders must engage in a physical activity, take up a skill and become involved in community service for 12 months. Participants must also successfully complete an adventurous journey spanning four-days and three-nights and fulfill a residential (community service oriented) project spanning five days and four nights away from home.

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2015 Fresh Start Graduation Class

March 24, 2015

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture held a graduation ceremony for the participants of the 2015 Fresh Start Programme on Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the Grand Ballroom of the British Colonial Hilton, which was followed by a reception...

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2015 Bahamas National Spelling Bee Winner- Charles Hamilton, Jr

March 24, 2015

Grooming National School-Aged Top Spellers in various districts to compete, in hopes of winning the coveted title of top speller, the Bahamas National Spelling Bee (BNSB) held its 18th Annual Bahamas National Spelling Bee Final Competition on March 22 at in the Crown Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island...

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2015 National Spelling Bee Competition

March 24, 2015

Contestants in the 2015 National Spelling Bee Competition paid a courtesy call...

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Winners of Gold Governor General Youth Awards

March 24, 2015

Winners of the Gold Award of the Governor General Youth Awards Programme, received their gold awards...

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Bartlett Hill Primary School

March 24, 2015

Students, teachers and the vice-principal of Bartlett Hill Primary School, Freeport, Grand Bahama, paid a courtesy call...

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Lyford Cay International School

March 24, 2015

Grade three students of Lyford Cay International School were welcomed in a courtesy call...

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Senior Officers Leadership Seminar, under the theme, "Effective Leadership"

March 24, 2015

The Royal Bahamas Police Force under the leadership of Emrick Seymour, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police for Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas District held a seminar for Senior Officers, under the theme, “Effective Leadership,” March 20, at the Gerald Bartlett Police Headquarters...

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Oakes Field Primary School Renamed

March 24, 2015

In a bid to formally recognize Bahamians who dedicated their lives to education, post Independence, the government has continued with a school renaming exercise, which commenced a few years ago...

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Educators Receive Advanced Placement AP Training
Educators Receive Advanced Placement (AP) Training

March 24, 2015

The Ministry of Education, in conjunction with The College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Program hosted some 40 educators and administrators from public and private schools throughout The Bahamas to an AP workshop for guidance counsellors today at Aquinas College...

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Students and faculty members from Iowa State University

March 24, 2015

Students and faculty members from Iowa State University paid a courtesy call...

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Hundreds of Students Flock to hear from Terrorist Survivor

March 24, 2015

More than 430 students from schools across the island recently got a lesson in learning to forgive from a man who spent more than half his life learning it himself following the brutal terrorist attack that left most of his teammates...

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Bahamas National Spelling Bee competitors pay courtesy call on minister of education

March 20, 2015

The competitors of the 18th Annual Bahamas National Spelling Bee Final Competition paid a courtesy call on Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome K. Fitzgerald and Director of Education Lionel Sands at the Ministry of Education Conference Centre yesterday...

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Bahamas National Spelling Bee Competitors pay courtesy call on Minister of Education

March 19, 2015

“The Bees are Coming!”

The competitors of the 18th Annual Bahamas National Spelling Bee Final Competition paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Education, Science and Technology, The Honorable Jerome K. Fitzgerald and the Director of Education, Mr. Lionel Sands today, at the Ministry of Education Conference Centre...

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Bahamian Innovator's Next Phenom product advances to finals in international competition

March 19, 2015

(Panama City, Panama) A young entrepreneur from The Bahamas was selected from over 2,730 international entrants as one the 32 finalists in this year’s Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas. Marques Williams, who conceptualized Next Phenom, an online stage for amateur athletes will be headed to Panama City, Panama April 7 – 9, 2015 to present his product in the Economic Innovation category of the competition...

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"Chess not Checkers" Young Women Told at S.T.R.A.W Conference

March 19, 2015

Assistant Director of Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Pauline Adderley encouraged the young women to approach their lives with the seriousness of the chess player, rather than with the lesser focus required for the game of checkers...

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Albury Sayle Primary Students Receive Water Safety Tips

March 19, 2015

Over 500 students of Albury Sayle Primary School are the beneficiaries of pencils, water safety coloring and activity books, and posters compliments of Andy and Nancy Knowles of Let’s Swim Bahamas...

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Minister of Education, Science and Technology, the Hon. Jerome Fritzgerald Officially Opens Preschool Units at Primary Schools in North and South Abaco
Minister of Education, Science and Technology, the Hon. Jerome Fritzgerald Officially Opens Preschool Units at Primary Schools in North and South Abaco

March 19, 2015

On Thursday, 12th March 2015, the Minister and a team of Education Officials visited the James A. Pinder Primary School in Sandy Point to officially commission the Preschool unit...

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