In a rapidly growing technical society, it is very important that students become proficient in the various forms of technology and media that they may come in contact with. The “Information Age” is upon us, and students need to be able to access the vast technological resources if they are going to be functioning members of society.
The technology program at Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School is designed to help students become competent users of this applied science. Beginning in the PreK-4 year old class, the students are instructed in correct terminology and use of the computer. They learn how to manipulate programs using both the keyboard and the mouse.
The early stages of the program emphasize keyboard and mouse manipulation, with work in simple art and writing programs as well. We have several different levels of software to meet the needs of the students. In addition to keyboarding and word processing, the students are also instructed in the use of content area tutorials, painting and drawing programs, multimedia programs, and various Internet research materials. Classroom teachers are encouraged to schedule extra computer time to include multimedia work in the content areas. The fifth graders are instructed in the proper techniques for typing and are given time to practice. The goal of this class is to have students typing comfortably around 30-40 wpm. This class is to prepare them for the BYOT program in middle school.
Once in middle school, the students should be proficient in keyboarding and word processing. After a few weeks of review and practice, they begin to work with multimedia programs. In this area they produce printed publications and short multimedia presentations using a variety of programs. Students also learn how to code programs. While it is important for students to gain an understanding of this technical skill, the real value of learning to code isn't the mastery of the tools. Coding teaches analysis and critical thought processes and these are 21st century skills we try to instill in our students.
Middle school students use this coding knowledge when they begin their lessons on robotics and 3D design and printing. Both of these programs take technology away from just sitting at a computer and put it into a more tactile format.
In addition to the regularly scheduled times for computer classes each week, the teachers are encouraged to use the lab for enrichment in academic areas. The more exposure students have to technology, the more comfortable they are using it.
The computer lab is manned by our technology director, who has a master’s degree in Educational Technology from Boise State University. All programs and projects are developed following goals and objectives set forth by the ISTE, The International Society for Technology in Education, as well as Louisiana State Standards for Education.