Students at St. Anthony Indian School in Zuni can now enjoy the full benefits of 21st century technology, thanks to a brand-new computer lab and classroom projectors.
The school applied for a grant to overhaul their outdated computers in 2013, and were awarded funds from the Raskob foundation. These were then used to install a fully equipped computer lab.
“One of the priorities of the school was to promote usage of technology for educational progress, and it began with plans for a new computer lab,” said Sr. Mary Pudota, principal. “A brand new computer lab for the school was a dream, but now it’s a reality.”
Fr. Ravi Kiran, the pastor at the church in Zuni and chaplain of the school, initiated the idea and approached Sr. Pudota when she was still a project coordinator for the church, and not yet principal of the school.
“After consultation and research I was able to draft a project proposal to the Raskob foundation,” Sr. Pudota said. “They gave us [the funds] to equip the lab with all-new computers with the latest technology. We also provided an LCD projector to every classroom.”
Now that the lab has been fully outfitted, the class schedule of the students has also shifted.
“All 129 students receive 45-60 minutes of dedicated technology instruction every week. They come to the computer lab for technology class, where they learn essential software skills, responsible internet use, and how to integrate technology into their studies and lives outside of school. The faculty and staff also receive training on the usage of computers and projectors.”
Even those who don’t attend or teach at the school have reacted favorably. The parents of students have expressed their happiness with the lab improvements, and two members of the Zuni community built custom desks for the computers.
Sr. Pudota explained that she and Fr. Ravi continue to plan improvements for the future. Installing a Smartboard – an interactive digital whiteboard – in the lab is the next project. She also hopes to install a printer and scanner for sharing the artwork of creative students.
“We’re looking forward to our next technology projects,” she said. “Perhaps updated laptops for classroom use – we’re always seeking funds to improve our kids’ resources.”