Standard 1.4

Standard 1.4 2018-02-21T09:13:22-05:00

Standard 1.4. Students use technology resources to conduct research, demonstrate creative and critical thinking, and communicate and work collaboratively.

At Fulton Science Academy, we believe in the importance of technology in the education of our children. As part of our technology plan, we have established a fast and solid internet network, fully equipped laboratories, and variety of technology resources for the use of our students.

Below is a list of some technologies available to our students to enhance and support their learning experiences:

  • Students in 7th grade and up are provided with one to one Mac Book Air laptops.
  • Students in 4th grade through 6th grade are provided with one to one iPads.
  • Each Pre-K through 3rd grade classroom are provided 10 iPads in each class.
  • Each elementary classroom has two desktop computers
  • Three fully equipped science laboratories
  • One technology laboratory
  • One computer (pc) laboratory
  • The media center has 20 iMac computer.
  • Promethean boards are located in all classes.
  • Two 3D printers
  • Two Active Smart Tables
  • Classroom set of microscopes
  • Virtual laboratory, and many other educational software programs and applications for students to use.

For the last three years, we have implemented a process to measure the effective and regular use of technology in our classroom instruction. The following process has been created:

FSAPS PROCESS TO MONITOR STUDENT USE OF TECHNOLOGY & CLASSROOM INTEGRATION

1- Discussion of various student uses of technology in classroom lessons and their effectiveness as part of collaboration meetings.

2- Regularly collecting data on use of technology by students from teachers using a Google Form.

3- Keeping an aggregate online record of all use of technology by students in a Google Spreadsheet accessible by all faculty members.

4- Review and revision of all current classroom technology practices recorded by faculty during both the pre-planning and teacher workdays.

Our process has been developed in a systematic way to allow our faculty to classify the classroom technology practices specifically working for their own classes. At the same time, the process provides our departments with the ability to learn about student uses of technology being employed in other classrooms and their effectiveness.

The Online Google Form Includes Following Questions:Please enter your name.

  • Please select the most applicable subjects for this technology.
  • Please enter the name of the technology students are using in your classroom.
  • Please enter a brief description of this technology.
  • How often are your students using this technology?
  • How would you rank the effectiveness of this technology?
  • Any comments?

This process allows our teachers to create a portfolio of technologies used by our students in classes and share it with other teachers. All teachers are able to sort the use of technology by subject, frequency, effectiveness, and teachers’ name to see the appropriateness for their classes.

The best examples of technology practices are then shared during our daily professional learning time with all teachers. Some recent technology trainings include Padlet, Rubric Maker, Screencast-O-Matic, EDU Weebly, Google Classroom, and Seesaw.

As our students regularly work on their class lessons, participate in clubs, prepare in academic teams, and engage in STEAM enrichment program activities and projects, it is important that they both know how to use the technology provided and have easy access to them. We address the need for learning how to use available technology by offering weekly computer and technology classes beginning at the Pre-K level. All students in Pre-K through 8th grade take two hours of technology and computer literacy class weekly. During technology classes in the elementary and middle grades, we use a mix of PLTW (Project Lead The Way) curriculum and robotics units.

In high school, we now offer a computer science career path which includes the classes of Computer Science Principles / AP Computer Science Principles, Computer Science / AP Computer Science, Video Edition, and the Foundations of Technology. Additional internships and/or dual enrollment classes may be allowed to satisfy computer science career path requirements with administrative approval, as well. Students completing at least three of these classes during their high school tenure will earn an additional certificate upon their graduation.

FSAPS students regularly use technology as part of their learning. A brief sample list exhibiting this practice is as follows:

Our 7th grade ELA students researched the key figures, events, and situations surrounding the Russian Revolution before reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm.  This novel is an allegory of the Russian Revolution, and the animal characters represents key figures and those involved in the revolution.  After reading the novel, the students worked in groups on a project for which they researched examples of propaganda (a key persuasive technique used by most governments and especially by the Communist leaders of the revolution) found in our society today (i.e., political speeches and print advertisements).

In our math classes, students may practice math problems using Kahoot.com, Quizziz.com, and Quizlet.com as a warm up or closure activity. These online resources allow us to group students for more targeted instruction, as well. In addition, students are also expected to use their graphic calculators or desmos.com within groups to sketch the graph of equations, functions, etc. Google Classroom is another platform math classes utilize to give students access to various resources and help them become responsible for their own learning. Additionally, math teachers have a project where students create math videos/tutorials. The students have opportunities to select the medium and content and must produce something instructional that could serve as an educational tool for other students. Our math department also uses Desmos activities, which provide instruction and opportunities for students to work with constructions and geometry proofs. Other examples of technological uses in math classes include the creation of math songs about topics from Algebra units and student-made YouTube tutorials for geometric constructions.

In 8th grade ELA and 10th grade World Literature, we use NoRedInk for grammar practice, Newsela for current events and reading informational texts, and PoetryGenius for close-reading annotation. 

The Hour of Code program is an event that we annually participate in at our school. Our technology department teachers work closely with other faculty members in the planning of this event for our students.

In STEAM Enrichment Program, major grading categories are creativity/innovation and critical thinking. At the beginning of this semester, students are asked to make a list of things that irritate or cause issues/concerns for them in order to identify a relevant problem. During this process, we always encourage our students to conduct extensive research and analyze their research from a critical perspective. Groups are engaged in intellectual conversations to make sure their project ideas and projected plans will help them reach their goal in STEAM Enrichment Program. As part of the program , students are required to keep online portfolios of their projects and document their progress in a blog, which further enhances their technological proficiency. At the end of each semester, students are expected to produce an innovative design/prototype/model that is usable, practical, and functional.

The software programs, online sites and tools, and apps that our students use are too exhaustive to list and they grow and change frequently. However, a sample of a few of the more widely used apps and software programs that enhance, support, and/or facilitate learning at our school are listed below:

Seesaw: Elementary students use the seesaw app as their digital portfolio.

Webquest: Students are using a ‘webquest’ to research different animals and their habitats. Together, we are creating a class nonfiction reference book all about animals and their habitats. Students use the iPads and computers to complete their research.

QR Code & iPad: Used in Math class for certain math activities.

Brain Pop Jr. and Brain Pop: Students watch videos and then they complete quizzes about  the skill/concept covered. The video portion is not being done by the students, but the students are reading and answering the questions on the ‘quiz’ portion of each lesson.

Math Playground: An online website resource that allows students to practice their skills and concepts on the Promethean board. We do this in small groups, as well as, in whole group instructions where students can answer on their own and then we discuss together.

Kahoot: Online quiz for formative assessment.

Weebly: Students have a Science Olympiad website that they can use to study for their events. All our student-driven websites with information and games to help prepare for competitions. Also, STEAM enrichment groups use Weebly for their blogs.

PHET: Interactive simulations for Science and Math.

GeoGebra: GeoGebra is dynamic mathematics software for all levels of education that brings together geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics and calculus in one tool.

Explore Learning Gizmos: Lab simulations that enable students to manipulate variables and collect and analyze data.

Online lab simulations: Students perform simulations of labs that are not able to be performed in class. For example, www.nobelprize.org has an excellent blood typing lab.

Virtual Tools (National Library of Virtual Manipulatives): The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) is an NSF supported project that began in 1999 to develop a library of uniquely interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives or concept tutorials, mostly in the form of Java applets, for mathematics instruction. It is a way to express the problem through the use of manipulatives, physical objects that help students visualize relationships and applications.

Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers practice exercises and instructional videos that allows students to engage in extra study and enrichment to reinforce classroom instruction. The program supports math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and many other topics.

Scratch: Used to teach programming to elementary students in computer class.

All educators know that technology can greatly enhance and support instruction. However, today, we must consider its use in instruction a necessity, because students must learn to be proficient and comfortable in its use to be truly successful in their post-secondary pursuits and future career fields. The use of technology in a well-rounded educational is no longer optional as our students will be missing a necessary life skill if they are not proficient in its use upon graduation. To this end, at FSAPS, we strive to make its use pervasive throughout the ways students communicate, project creation, research,  self-directed instruction, and study skills practice.

 

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