Technology is a powerful learning tool when harnessed effectively. Digital tools afford us with opportunities to collaborate with peers and experts around the globe, solve problems, create content, communicate with a live audience, and construct meaning creatively. This is the educational and global marketplace of today and tomorrow. The digital age demands that we are savvy consumers of media, and that we are no longer passive receivers of information. Instead, we are active participants in a world bursting with content, offering our opinions, participating in dialogue, sharing our creations, and standing on the shoulders of work created by individuals around the globe.
Technology Program at PJA
Our technology program is guided by ISTE's (International Society for Technology in Education) national standards for educational technology. We keep the whole child at the center of our program, introducing skills and tools when it is developmentally appropriate. Teachers model the appropriate use of tools and applications, while at the same time dialoging about digital citizenship, online safety, and cyber etiquette.
Grades K-2: Teachers in grades K-2 use a digital projector and a laptop computer to expand the four walls of the classroom. Age-appropriate web sites are used to enrich learning experiences and units of study. Teachers also use digital cameras and digital voice recorders to document student learning and culminating projects.
Grades 3-5: Students in grades 3-5 participate in keyboarding, honing their ability to use home row and type with efficiency and speed. Students also learn about proper posture and ergonmics, so that they take care of their bodies while using digital devices. PJA uses the school program Type to Learn, which allows students to set goals and obtain proficiency specific to their grade level and motor skills.
Grades 4-8: Students in grades 4-8 have PJA email accounts through the school's MS Outlook. Email is used for academic collaboration and communication with peers and teachers.
Grades 4-8 Technology Curriculum
Grades 4-5: Students in grades 4 and 5 use technology to compose, research and demonstrate their understandings through multimedia projects. Students use software programs like Inspiration, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Publisher, Audacity, to construct their work. Students also study the research process in the library and learn how to access digital databases and evaluate sources.
Grades 6-8: Several technology courses are formally offered in the middle school, including Digital Citizenship; Online Newspaper, The Pineapple; Multimedia Tools; and Yearbook. At the middle school level, content area teachers visit the computer lab as a natural part of teaching and learning. Students conduct research online and access library databases; collaborate online using web-based tools; create multimedia projects; create podcasts and voice recordings; blog about their learning; and publish their work. Students leverage technology in project-based learning experiences to demonstrate their learning, understandings and ability to apply the knowledge in the real world.