Technology Instruction at The Carey School
The technology program at The Carey School is aligned with the National Educational Technology Standards adopted by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTI) http://www.iste.org/standards. Our program offers pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students with a technology-rich curriculum that inspires learning and develops technology and research skills necessary for academic success and life-long learning. The computer lab functions in part, as an extension of the homeroom classroom, where teachers can bring their students to work on projects large and small. Students not only develop specific technology-related skills, but also apply these skills to research and projects that advance grade level learning objectives.
The Carey School technology program places an emphasis on developing solid touch-typing skills in each student by the Fifth Grade. Beginning in the Third Grade, students progress week by week to advance their keyboarding ability.
Finally, the Technology curriculum aims to develop creative and innovative thinking in our youngsters. Projects, lessons, and software frequently require students to think “out of the box” to solve problems. For example, students must use logic, analytical reasoning, prototyping, testing and retesting to successfully program a video game using Scratch software or make a programmable LEGO WeDo kit accomplish a specific task.
At The Carey School we continually look for new technologies and software that will enhance learning across our campus. We have Promethean interactive white boards in many classrooms, and projectors and screens in the remaining rooms. Teachers and students have access to iPads, iTouch handhelds, MacBooks, Google Chrome Books, digital cameras and video recorders. We are proud of our students and the rich learning environment our school offers them for acquiring the technology skills that will empower their lives.
The Technology Curriculum
While at The Carey School, students focus on developing and practicing the skills and experiences they need to be successful in middle school and beyond. The technology curriculum emphasizes the following skills in order to prepare students for academic success:
- How to research a topic and collect data (Google, World Book Online, Culture Grams, etc)
- How to paste illustrations and/or pictures found on the Internet into documents
- How to touch-type 20+ words per minute (Type To Learn Jr., Type To Learn 4, UltraKey 4.0 and Web-based drills)
- How to create and edit word processing documents (MS Word)
- How to enter data into a spreadsheet and graph the results (MS Excel)
- How to organize and prepare a multimedia presentation (MS PowerPoint)
- How to design and organize a small website (HTML)
- How to print, save, and retrieve files in a networked computer environment
- How to make a newsletter and a tri-fold brochure (Adobe InDesign)
- How to edit and resize digital images (Adobe Photoshop)
- How to prototype, design, test and modify programming scripts to accomplish collaborative, problem-solving challenges (Scratch, LEGO WeDo kits)
- How use a variety of software programs for learning, communication, creative expression and innovative exploration
The pre-kindergarten curriculum emphasizes the development of basic mouse and keyboard skills. Additionally, the curriculum seeks to provide ample opportunities for students to explore and learn about computers and software. Examples of software used in pre-kindergarten include Kid Pix Deluxe 3D, MoopTreasure, and online educational resources from uptoten.com, meddybemps.com, pbskids.org, and brainpopjr.com.
The kindergarten curriculum reinforces mouse and keyboard skills. Additionally, students create and print documents that combine artwork with words and ideas. Examples of software used in kindergarten include Kid Pix Deluxe 3D, MoopTreasure, and online educational resources from uptoten.com, tvokids.com, meddybemps.com, pbskids.org, playkidsgames.com and brainpopjr.com.
The first grade curriculum provides a transition for students to document-based applications and the skills needed to open, use, and save simple documents. Students begin to explore how to type using Type to Learn Jr., Kid Pix Deluxe 3D and MS Word software programs. We also utilize educational Web-based sites such as seussville.com, brainpopjr.com, erobics.com, and kids.yahoo.com among others.
In second grade, students are introduced to the process of browsing the Internet and searching for specific information. Students search for images online as well as answers to questions. Students create presentations for projects related to oceanography, US states, countries and animals. Activities also include collaborative problem-solving tasks. Software used includes MS Word, MS PowerPoint, Kid Pix Deluxe 3D, Crazy Machines, Type To Learn Jr. and online resources like askkids.com and setgame.com.
In third grade, the curriculum focuses on asking the children to research topics on the Internet and create multimedia presentations that include images, graphs, text, audio and visual information (podcasts) and the appropriate formatting of these assignments. Students are asked to summarize the information they gather from the Internet and utilize a variety of software to format a final product. We also explore digital photo editing with Adobe Photoshop, concept mapping with Inspiration and touch-typing practice with Type To Learn 4 and UltraKey 4.0. Other programs used in third grade include MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, The CIA World Fact Book website, askkids.com, and typingstudy.com.
In fourth grade, students format a California Mission report and research the history of California Native Americans. We use MS Excel spreadsheets to collect data and graph the results. Digital images are modified and combined using Adobe Photoshop. Students create webpages using HTML, that include text, links and images images. Examples of software used at this level includes MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, Scratch, LEGO WeDo, Taco HTML Edit, GarageBand, UltraKey 4.0 and Type To Learn 4. The CIA World Fact Book website, CNN.com/Weather/, Culture Grams and the World Book online are a few of the websites we utilize in the fourth grade.
In the fifth grade, the curriculum focuses on finding accurate information on the Internet for answering research questions and for creating more advanced presentations that might include tri-fold brochures or multimedia-supported oral reports. Students develop an in-depth, well-formatted PowerPoint presentation from Internet research they have conducted over many weeks. Additionally, via the Internet, the fifth graders track the value of a stock investment and chart its performance value in MS Excel. Students also use HTML tags to create, from scratch, a well organized, multi-page website. Touch-typing proficiency continues with UltraKey 4.0 and Type To Learn 4 keyboarding software programs. Other project possibilities include programming a simple video game using Scratch software or using Apple iMovie to create a 30 second information “commercial.” Examples of software used at this level include MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, Google Earth, UltraKey, Adobe Photoshop, Taco HTML Edit, GarageBand, iTunes and Audacity.