Supporting innovation across our curriculum.
Our Educational Technology program allows students to adapt to new technologies and critically identify their value as tools for learning in order to be a creative producer and conscious consumer of media. A Town student learns and understands the importance of flexibility when using new technologies, responsibility while building an ethical foundation as a digital citizen, and collaboration in order to problem-solve and build upon collective knowledge. In order to discover and embrace these values, students learn that technology enables the user to move beyond the classroom and make connections within the community, across the nation and at a global level. Additionally, students develop the ability to identify and solve problems creatively, acquire technical skills and tools, build an ethical foundation, and discern when to use technology and what tool is best suited for each task.
Educational Technology is an integrated and interdisciplinary program that seeks to expand and enhance curriculum throughout the School. The program goals tie directly to the School’s mission, philosophy, and culture, and are driven by the Nursery through 8th Grade curriculum. Through exploration and experimentation, students, faculty, and staff are able to build technical skills while learning how to be critical digital citizens. These goals are reached through purposeful planning with teachers as well as formal classes that begin in 3rd Grade. Integrating technology meets specific academic needs that are age appropriate. ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards are met when planning curriculum. In the N/K classrooms, technology is used as a tool to support creativity, critical thinking and documentation. Through this approach, students learn that technology can be used to communicate or document an idea, acquire knowledge through online research and interact with others in their community and around the world. Students in the Lower School expand on this foundation, utilizing technology to enhance their learning, conduct research, collect interviews, and start Town’s 1:1 iPad program in 4th Grade. Students in the Upper School explore more advanced programs and devices in order to explore and express ideas in new and creative ways or to enhance learning. Students use 3D imaging programs like Tinkercad (www.tinkercad.com) when learning about area or volume. Language students use applications to record themselves and receive feedback from their teachers. The Upper School also uses a learning management system, providing students with a centralized place to view homework and resources, and to submit assignments for prompt feedback. In recent years, there have been increasing opportunities for students to pursue additional interests. There is a Robotics Club that uses the Lego Mind Storm robotics kit to explore programming and its application to robotics. There is also a Technology Club, which allows students to explore Minecraft, Raspberry Pi, and coding using Scratch and other programming sites. In addition, an after-school Upper School Coding Club was added in spring 2015, and a Lower School Technology Club was added in fall 2015 in response to increasing interest in Educational Technology.
Technology is utilized to demonstrate student understanding through technology-based presentations and as a tool to support and enhance student learning. Classroom teachers and specialists use technology to deliver curriculum via laptops, iPads, SMARTboards, Apple TV, Ipevo cameras/document cameras, and copiers and printers. Student work is also documented through the use of iPads, cameras and online portfolios. Additional tools such as the 3D printers, Raspberry Pi, sensor boards, Lego Robotics, digital cameras, and MP3 recorders are available as needed. The technology team continues to explore and introduce appropriate new technology to support classroom work.
The Educational Technology curriculum is constantly evolving in order to reflect our diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Technology helps to enable interconnectedness and reflection, allowing for a deeper understanding of the school community, including current families, caregivers, alumni/ae, faculty and staff. Technology training is available for new parents, and all parents are invited to several Technology Coffees each year. Technology also facilitates the ability to move beyond the classroom and school community to engage with communities at the city, national, and global levels.