ST1.4: Students use technology resources to conduct research, demonstrative creative and critical thinking, and communicate and work collaboratively.
Self Assessment Score: 4
Three years ago Sumter School District became a one-to-one (1:1) district providing a device for all of our students. This was a gradual process. The first year each grade level had a computer cart to share. The next year grades 3-5 had one cart per classroom while other grades were still sharing carts by grade level. Now all students at Alice Drive Elementary (ADE) in grades K-5 have a Chromebook to use each day at school. ADE’s strength is our students’ ability to use these devices to research, design and create content, and provide a way to practice their computational skills. Students also interact with programs such as Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Slides, See Saw, Flipgrid, ConnectEd, etc. and utilize various online websites such as Answer Garden, Quizzizz, and Kahoot. We continue to have a computer lab as a part of our Related Arts rotation to help our students become better at accessing the programs we use at school and practice basic keyboarding skills. As our STEAM program grows and we gain more community awareness, several devices have been donated by local businesses and private individuals. Because of these donations, our students have access to a 3D printer, VR Googles, and Lego Wedo. We need to work on pushing out more programs and applications that allow student simulation in real world careers and design, and virtual and 3D worlds to use in and outside of the classroom. This technology is relatively new to our school community. As we participate in professional development opportunities provided by our district and staff, our teachers continue to gain the skills necessary to keep up with the changes in technology.
Our Boys and Girls Robotics Clubs meet separately and monthly. The students use the Engineering Design Process to build various types of robots, usually working on one robot over a three month period. For Family Steam Night, both the boys and girls clubs get together to make robot arenas, mazes and interactive games using the robots. They also work on Family Steam Night to demonstrate and teach students how to use the robots. Every year on average each group builds and programs three robots. The Boys Robotics Club has been in place for four years and this is the first year we have implemented the Girls Robotics Club. Last January our Robotics Club was given the opportunity to present at the Sumter School District Board Meeting. This was just another outlet for our students to share with the community how STEAM is at work in our school.
Our district’s description of Google Classroom says, “Create classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and see everything in one place. Instant. Paperless. Easy.” Our teachers truly have embraced Google Classroom and kids have been very successful using it. Classwork assignments, quizzes, videos, etc. are shared between the teachers and the students. Being able to view and return student work provides immediate feedback. This is another way our teachers are able to offer differentiation for our students. Our teachers also utilize Classroom for turning in their weekly lesson plans to administration, collaborating with their colleagues, and taking professional development courses for recertification points.
Technology in the Classroom (SeeSaw, ConnectED, Flipgrid, iPads, and VR Goggles)
Teachers are implementing technology in the Classroom in a variety of ways in order to collaborate and communicate with others. Some examples we have used this year:
SeeSaw allows for communication with parents and is an online portfolio. The students love to create videos in SeeSaw for presenting information to the class, as a reflection tool, or just to share their opinions on a topic. (picture linked to visualization summary).
ConnectED is the computer program that came with our math series. This is interactive and allows the students to practice their computation skills, create and solve their own math problems, and share their learning with others. (picture linked to his ConnectEd word problem).
Flipgrid allows our students to create and share short videos.
iPads are used in the STEAM lab for research as well as with our robotics clubs.
VR Goggles are used in the STEAM lab but our teachers will soon have a Professional Learning Community (PLC) with our district STEAM support specialist to learn how to use and implement them in the core classroom. (VR picture link to video).
One-to-One Global is a one-to-one technology integration initiative. The purpose of One-to-Global is to use technology equipment, programs, and application to engage students in challenging, critical thinking, and real world activities and learning. (Chromebook pic is linked).
Alice Drive Elementary was gifted in April of 2019 with a 3D printer from Central Carolina Technical College which was placed in our STEAM lab. Our STEAM support specialist for the district will be coming into our school to offer professional development on how to use the printer, how to implement in the classroom, and has offered to co-teach lessons with our teachers. (3D printer pic linked to a video).