Posted by in Features.

The most cutting edge school in the county is among the first in the country to embrace the latest technological developments designed to revolutionise learning in the classroom.

Coláiste Bhaile Chláir in Claregalway last week received Microsoft’s new Surface 3 devices, having already seen its success on a pilot basis where it achieved exciting results.

“Our school is just over two years old and we believe it is a great example of how a school can digitise the learning experience,” said Coláiste Bhaile Chláir Principal Alan Mongey.


“We’re using devices in the classroom every day—we have built our curriculum and daily engagement between students and teachers through Microsoft technology. Our teachers have worked together with the students to create a new approach to teaching and learning,” he added.

The Claregalway Principal said that they no longer relied on the traditional textbook or even the e-book as the source of all information—even though, for most schools, the vision of a completely Digital Classroom is still just a vision.

So in order to make a full transformation to a digital classroom, a tablet needs to support not only reading and typing input, but also writing which is a critical part of the learning experience. Surface 3 is the device that allows this to happen.

“With the support of Microsoft we have developed our own online teaching and learning resource which can be adapted and changed easily to suit each class or student.

By harnessing the power of mobile and cloud based technologies such as Microsoft OneNote and Office 365 and through the use of touch and pen based devices like Surface 3, the school has progressed to achieving its vision of a more engaging and immersive learning environment for our students.

Through active learning methodologies, students are developing a deeper understanding in their subject areas and are more engaged and motivated in their learning,” he added.

Coláiste Bhaile Chláir is already a Microsoft Showcase School for its use of mobile and cloud technology to better prepare students for success in the workplace.

Teachers Lara Daibhagh and Gareth Callan were chosen last year as Expert Educators under the innovative schools program, joining a group of 800 teachers worldwide who have been acknowledged for their practice in the classroom.

That saw Coláiste Bhaile Chláir join an exclusive community of over 150 premier schools from around the world, recognised to celebrate their truly pioneering efforts and innovation in rethinking teaching, learning and assessment in order to drive deep 21st century competencies.

Coláiste Bhaile Chláir facilitates student learning through the development of knowledge communities in the classroom and  staffroom, working towards a more personalised learning environment for each of its classes and students.

The new Microsoft Surface 3 is optimised to run full Windows and Office and features a battery life of up to ten hours.

The ability to run Windows apps. and the versatile pen experience—great for taking notes or marking documents—make Surface 3 ideal for mobile professionals, families, students and schools—or anyone looking for a portable device to get things done.

Surface 3 packs performance and value into an elegant, light-weight design and includes a one-year subscription of Office 365 Personal with 1 terabyte of cloud storage.

Surface 3 is available with a range of new accessories in store and online at Currys, PC World and Harvey Norman and at the Microsoft online store