Students trek to Ireland to continue connection

By Laura Baker
Booth Memorial
St. John's, Newfoundland

A group of students and teachers from Booth Memorial High School are visiting schools in Ireland to continue a partnership that began several years ago.

During the Cabot 500 Celebrations in Newfoundland two years ago, our school made connections via the Internet with both Discovery Collegiate in Bonavista Bay and St. Catherine's School in Pill, England. The mayor of Bristol was on hand to take part in the online ceremony.

Since then, we have conducted many school technology projects, including the Irish Connection (May 1998) and Continuing the Connection (October 1998). It was in October that our school hosted the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, during her state visit to Canada. We were the only school in the province to receive a visit from her Excellency, who came to experience the advanced technology that Booth has to offer.

Booth Memorial has also been using technology for events such as the Provincial Student Leadership Conference in October 1998 and webcasting guest speakers, including the High Commissioner of Australia, Greg Wood. The school offers a range of technology courses but also goes to great lengths to integrate technology into other curriculum areas.

The purpose of the Ireland trip at this time is for junior students, who will be in grades eleven and twelve next year, to plan projects with our partner school in Christian Brothers School Tramore, with a special emphasis on planning projects that will use technology throughout the curriculum.

On April 14, Booth Memorial and CBS Tramore used technology again to make a transatlantic connection. Using video conferencing software, the students at Booth were able to communicate with the students visiting Ireland.


The first call came in at around noon, and after two or three attempts we finally made a successful connection. At times, the audio and visual were muffled and fuzzy, but for the most part both groups were seen and heard loud and clear. The connection was shared with students, teachers and parents on both sides.

We discussed weather conditions, school and activities that they had completed so far, such as meeting their host families, visiting landmark sites and enjoying traditional Irish culture. We then went on to create a joint project with the use of a whiteboard, whereby images were created by both parties simultaneously. They also sent us digital images of their trip and a written report of what they've done. 

They will be forwarding more information and pictures in the next few days.