Students at Seven Hills use technology as a vehicle for research, academic exploration, self-expression, and creativity. It is used to learn, teach, create, reinforce, and share. And it gives all of us the opportunities to learn and to teach.
Here’s an illustration of how technology enhances student learning:
Our Preschool and Pre-K students explore their surroundings. When an exciting find, like a slug, is discovered, teachers can help them learn more information about the little creature by using the Internet. Students become learners together, finding out that slugs eat almost everything, even other slugs.
Kindergarten and 1st grade students use the cameras to take pictures around campus - circles, squares, liquids, and solids. They record their voices telling stories, remembering to have a beginning, middle, and end. They use the Internet to find information and then become a teacher to their peers, as they share what they learned with others.
2nd and 3rd grade students start to make choices on when, where, and how to use technology. A device is available to each student in the classroom. Students have opportunities throughout their day to use technology where and when it is needed. Students use paper, pencils, books, and iPads together in a model that focuses on the best tool for the task and their learning style.
4th and 5th grade students continue to learn how to make choices, and there is a heightened emphasis on digital and information literacy. Students have opportunities for discussions about what makes a positive digital footprint - what should they be posting online, and what should be kept offline. How to stay safe, but still contribute to their online world. They also have guidance on finding, evaluating, and using information. Because there is no shortage of information available at their fingertips, students are getting help in limiting the information and evaluating for authenticity. Starting in 4th grade, students are given a device that becomes theirs to use throughout the school day as well as at home.
In Middle School, students use technology as a tool throughout their day. The focus is on problem-solving, making good choices, and improving skills as they move toward high school. One of the biggest challenges, often identified by the students themselves, is the distraction precipitated by technology. Discussions and identified strategies are shared throughout Middle School to help students make the best choices about when to use technology and when to take a break from their digital world. Starting in 7th grade, students have both a tablet and a laptop to use. This allows them to use the device that is best for their learning as well as the specific task. Often, the solution might involve more than one device. It also ensures proficiency in a variety of devices.