2017-18 School Year
Each year our technology equipment is evaulated, updated and new purchases are made to keep our program up to date. Teachers are trained and updated to use the new technology. Each year a significant amount of money is allocated to these tools.
Our 26 station Windows 10 computer lab with 23" touch screen computers is loaded with software: Microsoft Office 2016 with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. The Adobe suite featuring: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premier, Fireworks, Illustrator, Audition and Animate. We have KidPix 3D, Crazy Talk, and Mavis Beacon Typing. We will utilize free programs such as Stykz Animation Software, GIMP, Windows MovieMaker, Photostory, Audacity, and Tux Paint. We use various internet tools such as Animoto, Google Apps, Google Classroom, Weebly, Google Sketchup, Tagxedo, Google Cs First, DanceMat Typing, Prezi, Todays Meet. More web 2.0 tools will be integrated into curriculum and projects. This year we have subscriptions to Weevideo, Discovery Streaming and Vimeo.
We have microphones and headphones for multimedia productions. Our new lab has built in webcams for projects. Our green room and movie software is a great place to let the imaginiations soar. We have four movie cameras and six digital cameras for school use. There are 2 drawing tablet for students that really want to get creative. The touch screen computers will make drawing a breeze! The lab is equipped with a sound system, cameras, document camera, smartboard and projector to showcase student work. Most projects will be posted on the projects and activities page of the school website for home viewing.
We are in full swing with Google GSuite as we have been using these Google Tools with grades 3-8 for over 6 years now. We will be continuing the use of these tools this year. These are the same tools they are using in high schools and colleges today. Using the Google apps for education tools and Google Classroom students will be able to use all of the programs and storage from any computer or device with an internet connection. It won't matter if they have a mac, a pc, tablet, chromebook, or need the correct versions of software to use these tools. They won't have to worry about forgetting their flash drive or printing information to give to a teacher. Upper grade students will now have student email accounts turned on in these accounts.
Archdiocesan guidelines for technology will drive our program. Students will continuously develope skills in keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, web tools and multimedia presentations. The students will be exposed to various programs to achieve the benchmarks set forth from the Archdiocese. We enhance our program with some subscription based services. Many of these services can be used by students at home and school.
Digital Citizenship is a top priority. We spend time each year examining internet safety issues and the students have fun doing it. Netsmartz.org is a big part of our program. Younger grades will create skits and raps on safety topics. Older students will participate in a online discussion with just their class on a variety of different topics. We also participate in the F.B.I SOS Internet Safety Program.
Respecting intellectual property, copyright, cyberbullying, and responsibility will be another big topic in both the classrooms and the technology lab. Proper citing of sources, creative commons licensed work, and searching for pictures and music that are free to use are some of the ways this topic will be addressed. We will stress the importance of treating other people with respect online as well as offline. As a faith based school we can teach these topics using morality and ask the question - "What would Jesus do?"
A group of students will make up the SLATS Team (Student Leaders Advancing Technology in Schools). This group will be selected from applications submitted. Students will apply to be a part of this team and will take responsibility to perform various technological tasks. They must demonstrate a willingness to learn, an intrest in technology, be willing to make a time committment, and be willing to teach others. This group will be a valuable resource for the teachers and technology program. Read more about this program here. If you are interested in joining the team fill out an application.
The coding club will continue to run this school year. This club started in the spring of 2014 with a trial group of students. This year we are going to open it up to more students and do more coding oriented things in the technology lab classes. We have been doing the Hour of Code for the past four years and we will continue.
We are very excited in few new initiatives this year. We plan to pilot a new video club and students will film events and a news report. We are going to try to do this bi-monthly and air it on the school website. We are also piloting a Maker Space program. Once a month each grade will get a chance to spend two periods (Technology and Library) in a makerspace environment. They will have a choice of many activities to participate in that day. Acitivites will range from creating electronic circuits, working with circuits, connecting various input and output devices to MAKE something work. Working with principles of physics they will build and rebuild to MAKE something that they want do something. They will have the opportunity to build animations, stop motion animation, and green screen movies using characters that they MAKE. The basic arts and craft supplies and clay will be available to MAKE the item their own as well as 3D pens, robot kits, and coding opportunities. We purchased several robots for different age groups for the students to build and program. There will also be RasberryPi 3 computer kits to build and use in this space and a whole computer kit and monitor to build. Building these will let the students see how it all works as they MAKE it! We have the lab and a few new android tablets to control and code these devices. We will continue to use the ozobots that the students used last year and have them available in these spaces. This was quite an investment by the school this year and we are very excited to see this STEAM learning take place both in the makerspace hours as well as the rest of the school day. Look for videos of the students being excited to learn.
We finally have a Google Expeditions Kit for 30 students. Students will be able to take flight on virtual field trips with the whole class. Teachers will be able to take the students outside of the classroom walls to places they might never to see in person. From Historical Monuments, National Parks, The Great Pyramids, the Colleseum, Natural Wonders, Coral Reefs, Museums, different countries, and so much more! This kit comes all in a cart and will be able to travel to different classrooms and buildings so that all can enjoy the trips!
As we continue to prepare our students for the 21st century the classroom projects will be more and more technology driven. We will use scanners in the Art Room and Technology Lab. The school is equipped with classroom projectors, smartboards, 70 iPads, 170 Chromebooks (75 touch), and document cameras. The library houses iPads, a few pc's and chromebooks. Our preschool students have some iPads and Osmo devices as well as a computer in each of the classrooms too! With all of these tools the teachers will be able to give the students the opportunity to use technology as a tool for learning, collaborating and sharing. The best part is that students embrace the challenge of learning new technology. They thrive in it and take pride in their accomplishments. After all, this is the students' world!