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 brand new 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 goAnimate, Weevideo, Vimeo, and Weebly.
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. We have a new speaker system for the lab this year. 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 started introducing the students to the google apps suite the past few years. (G.A.F.E) 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 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 with access to school faculty and other students only.
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.
Internet Safety 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 will once again 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 three years and this year we are going to continue the program and more coding.
We plan to pilot a new video club this year. 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.
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 upper building (4-8) is equipped with classroom projectors, smartboards, 50 iPads, 105 Chromebooks, and a document camera for student use. The lower building (K-3) houses 30 iPads, 25 Touch screen Chromebooks and the technology lab. The library houses more iPads, a few pc's and chrombooks. Little Joe's students will have more iPads and netbooks to use this year 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!