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We see our students’ use of technology as a route to a wider understanding of and engagement with the world beyond our campus, a way to provide support to students who have learning differences and/or physical limitations, a connected environment for collaborative projects, and a means through which their original work can be disseminated to our own community and beyond.  Computers are seen as versatile tools that should be available to students at all times, in classrooms and specialist spaces, instead of in a computer lab.  Overall, technology is regarded as a supportive and flexible resource for our entire program rather than as a separate subject area.

Technology in the Classroom

And while various classroom use of technology (from computers and tablets to digital cameras to “maker” tools and materials to software and programming languages, etc.) varies greatly with the age and interests of their students and the topics they are exploring, there are program components that are present throughout the school. In line with the standards published by the International Society for Technology in Education and the recommendations from CommonSense Media,  our students gradually build skills, attitudes, and competency in the following areas:

  • Foundation skills
    • logging into and out of sites
    • keyboarding
    • word processing features
    • using a spell-checker
    • image creation and manipulation
    • spreadsheet and graphing software
    • graphical organizers
    • music composition software
    • downloading and uploading files
    • use of digital camera features
    • use of help files
  • Creativity and Innovation
    • Create original work
    • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas or processes
    • Use models and simulations to explore complex issues
  • Communication and collaboration
    • Interact with others to create, exchange ideas, and publish
    • Collaborate in ways that are supportive, respectful, and inclusive
    • Understand the proper use of email, messaging, texting, etc.
    • Communicate effectively with audiences through a variety of presentation formats
  • Research and information fluency
    • Plan strategies to inquire efficiently
    • Locate, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information
    • Select appropriate information sources and digital tools suitable to the task
  • Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
    • Identify real-world problems that can be understood and/or solved with technology
    • Explore authentic, meaningful questions
    • Collect and analyze data to solve problems or make informed decisions
    • Use multiple sources to gather and analyze a range of views or solutions
  • Digital citizenship
    • Practice safe, legal, ethical, and responsible use of technology
    • Learn to protect one’s identity, privacy, and reputation online
    • Understand the value and pitfalls of social media
    • Recognize and respond appropriately to sites that are unsuitable because of their content
    • Recognize and take action against cyberbullying
  • Technology operations and concepts
    • Care of equipment
    • Installation, updating, and removal of software, devices, and drivers
    • Simple programming
    • Simple problem solving techniques when equipment fails to perform as expected

See also: Let’s Be Safe in Cyberspace

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