Students and teachers of Jamaica College will now be able to use the school's Flow-powered e-Library to access hundreds of digital books, photographs, and recordings with the click of a button.
Jamaica College is the first and only public secondary school in the country to have implemented the EBSCO e-Library platform. The announcement came at the official launch of the e-Library, which was held on Friday, March 9, in the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium, during which the school's new digital offering was unveiled.
Education Minister Rev Ronald Thwaites, in in his address to the students, challenged them to "make full use" of the new resource wisely. He reminded them that the opportunity presented was one "that was never available to this extent or even at all to those [who came] before".
The minister also spoke to the fact that the launch of the e-Library was in tandem with his vision of making technology an integral part of education, not only for Jamaica College, but even at schools that do not have the same facilities. He described the event as one of "tremendous importance".
Principal of Jamaica College, Ruel Reid, described the launch of e-Library as a collaborative effort. "I am extremely grateful that Flow has partnered with us for this revolutionary project. Jamaica College has been a pioneer in embracing advanced technology, and the e-Library initiative offers just that. It allows the students efficient access to extensive information in preparation for their SBAs and examinations."
Jeanette Lewis, Flow's public relations manager endorsed the bold move by the institution. With this new facility, the same resources can be accessed by a number of users at the same time. Lewis stated that "we simply cannot downplay the extent to which technology impacts learning and teaching. This modern approach to accessing educational material is definitely a step in the right direction for our youth, as it maximises scarce resources".
She also promised to expand Flow's current e-learning initiative partnership with the school, under its Building Leaders Through Technology Programme. Under this programme, Flow helps to infuse technology in the teaching and learning process through various activities, including the donation of commercial-grade Internet and digital cable, mentorship programmes and an introduction to specific skills-building activities.
A special feature of the EBSCO e-Library is its customisable, intuitive search experience which caters to user needs and preferences at every level of research. Users, for example, will be able to easily move from the catalogue to the particular book, then to a particular chapter, and so on.
Founded in the late-1700s, Jamaica College boasts a very rich history, and currently caters to approximately 1,800 male students and has over 100 teaching and administrative staff. The institution is widely known in Jamaica for both its academic and sports achievements, and has produced many influential members of Jamaican society, including former prime ministers of Jamaica, Norman Washington Manley, Michael Manley and Bruce Golding.