Thanks to the generous support from MEF and the LP PTA, Kindergarten through fifth grade students have the opportunity and resources to develop and refine their technology skills to facilitate 21st century learning and better prepare them to succeed in a technology-oriented society.
This year, technology instruction has been expanded to include all grades, Kindergarten through fifth. Students receive weekly technology lessons with desktop computers in the lab or on iPads and Chromebooks in their classrooms. All grades use a variety of typing websites as well as Type to Learn 4 on the desktop computers in the lab to develop and improve keyboarding skills, with emphasis on good ergonomics, proper finger placement, and accuracy. In addition, Kindergarten through second grades spend several lab periods learning how to use a mouse and improving their proficiency by doing variety of online mouse activities and computer projects.
Depending on grade level, students devote the remainder of the class to working on projects with Microsoft programs (Paint, Word, Publisher, Excel, and PowerPoint), Google Docs, other educational software, and on various websites. As students advance through the grades, the projects reinforce previously learned skills and increase in complexity as new aspects of the software programs are introduced. In many cases, computer projects are aligned with the classroom curricula and are designed collaboratively with the classroom teachers.
In addition, we devote several classes to Digital Citizenship instruction, which includes educational videos and discussion of safe and responsible use of technology in the classroom and at home. The website, CommonSenseMedia.org provides videos and lessons which cover a wide variety of age appropriate topics by grade, and Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr. contain very helpful videos and follow up quizzes. Topics include Internet safety, digital citizenship, cyberbullying, and cyber security, guidelines for emailing and texting, and safe advanced Internet searches.
This year, all grades participated in The Hour of Code, a global phenomenon in which millions of students from all over the world spent an hour learning about computer science and coding. Kindergarten classes learned how to instruct a dinosaur to move and dance on the screen using the iPad app, Daisy the Dinosaur. Kindergarten through fifth grades used the website, Code.org to learn about coding. Kindergarten and first graders accessed the website via iPads and desktop computers, while second through fifth graders used the desktop computers. Students assembled a series of commands into a simple program to move characters through a maze or draw geometric designs.
Please click the Grade links to the left to see what projects your child has been doing with technology this year.