Sacred Heart College is a co-educational 7-12 school in Adelaide, South Australia. As a Catholic College in the Marist tradition, the school places significant importance on its values and encourages its students to be good Christians and good citizens.
“We’re a Google school,” says Bernadette Thorpe, the school’s e-learning coordinator, whose role is to help the college embed new technologies into everyday teaching and learning. “We’ve been using Google Workspace for education since 2014.”
Nearly five years ago, the school broke ground on its new Marymount Building at the Champagnat Campus. It was set to feature 18 classrooms, a theatrette, two large break-out spaces, and a learning enrichment center. “As part of the building process, we wanted to go to a wireless presentation tool,” says Bernadette. In existing classrooms, students were using desktop PCs with wired network connection and each classroom was equipped with a projector. The new build represented a great opportunity to embrace wireless access right across the school to unlock the value of the new spaces and free teachers and students elsewhere from the rigid confines of networked devices.
At the time, there weren’t too many other solutions on the market capable of delivering the secure wireless presentation functionality the school needed. Although Bernadette was not involved in the decision to move to Vivi, it’s still abundantly clear why Vivi was the right tool for the school. “Students can connect with any device,” she says. “As long as they have downloaded the app, then, basically, Vivi is all good to go.”
And being able to work with multiple devices is important at Sacred Heart. “At the start, the school provided everyone with a Chromebook,” Bernadette continues. “More recently, the students at our Marcellin campus (those in years 10-12) have been allowed to bring their own devices. Many still use Chromebooks—they work well for day-to-day learning—but students who are doing digital subjects, like design, have bought a Mac or Windows device to work with high-end programs.”
All classroom screens are Vivi-enabled. Students can use a range of Chromebooks, Macs, and Laptops. No matter what device they use, it works perfectly with Vivi.
With the help of Vivi, Sacred Heart College has been able to:
- Support its BYOD policy for older students. Vivi supports the school’s senior student BYOD policy perfectly. It doesn’t matter what device the year 10-12 students choose to use. Vivi works reliably with them all.
- Give teachers greater confidence to work with technology. Because connecting to Vivi is simple and reliable, teachers who aren’t all that confident with technology have begun to embed it more and more in their teaching.
- Unlock more space in the classroom. For some smaller classrooms, having a TV screen limits the amount of whiteboard space. Vivi’s whiteboard feature has given teachers almost endless space to use if they wish to.
Vivi Is Integral to the Classroom
Prior to our conversation, Bernadette asked one of the teachers what they thought the benefits of Vivi were. “She had a worried look on her face,” Bernadette smiles. “She thought the school was thinking of moving away from Vivi. She relaxed instantly when I explained why I was asking and told me she couldn’t live without it.”
That’s because Vivi makes presenting so simple. The teachers can move around the class rather than be stuck near the screen at the front. They can show videos through YouTube, without ads, and can even use the whiteboard feature to work through something as a class. The benefit is that students can then screenshot what’s on the display and easily save it to their device or to the cloud.
As well as being easy for teachers to use, Vivi is great for students. “In the past, students would have to walk up to the front and plug in a cable. Now, they can present their PowerPoint or whatever they want to share right there, on the spot,” says Bernadette.
The other aspect of Vivi that teachers love is the ability to multi-task during a lesson. They can present to students while still being able to do other work on their devices. It’s all down to how they’ve embraced using Vivi in the classroom. “Vivi has really helped teachers to become more engaged in technology,” says Bernadette. “I think the ease of being able to connect to Vivi has made them more willing to use online tools. Vivi has helped the teachers who are naturally a little resistant to technology to actually start using more and more of what’s out there.”