The Independent Day School
Academics

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Students in our Lower School, Grades Two through Five, strengthen their computer skills with weekly keyboarding practice, which leads them to word processing, concept mapping, and empowering multimedia projects. They also learn how to make basic spreadsheets and graphs and how to use the Internet safely and efficiently to conduct their research or complete a classroom project. Our Second Graders embark on web quests to enrich their classroom lessons on Native American tribes.  Third graders compose an original recorder piece and learn how to use the basics of the computer program, Finale Notepad, in the creation of their music. Fourth Graders program Lego robots, and produce travel brochures to advertise their assigned countries at the “World’s Fair” they construct each year. Always, it is about using technology as a tool to complete a learning task—not just about learning to use the tool.


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Our Middle School students tackle more expansive hands-on projects that challenge them to present information and ideas in new and creative ways that take full advantage of the variety of applications we offer. They create their own digital art projects to explore surrealism in Art or compose music with GarageBand or record video podcasts in Spanish. Every year our Eighth Grade students work together to create our school's yearbook by manipulating graphics, laying out pages, and making collaborative decisions. In our History Seminar class, 8th graders put together outstanding final projects making movies, magazines and podcasts to tell stories about the history of our local region. They share these projects with guests and the IDS community. Their excellent understanding of technology—how it works and how to make the most of it for any assignment—prepares them well to meet the demands of secondary school.


Technology

 Technology is a boon to teaching and learning, and we make daily use of it at IDS. Here, you will find not only computers in every classroom but also a fully equipped computer lab and a mobile lab that rolls information technology right to our students’ fingertips. Many classrooms are outfitted with projectors and interactive whiteboards. Each classroom is assigned its own digital camera. Camcorders, scanners, and laser printers are available to everyone. These tools and more demonstrate our commitment to keeping technology current and accessible to students and teachers while supporting them in their use of it.

But we don’t teach “computers” at IDS—we teach how to use computers as a transparent educational tool that enhances our school curriculum. We integrate technology into everyday classroom activities, when and where it is appropriate and effective. Our students learn to apply technology skills appropriately and responsibly in complex problem solving and productive research across the content areas. They learn how to analyze, organize and synthesize the information they find and then how to communicate it effectively through the written, visual, oral and multimedia projects they share. Hand in hand with digital literacy skills, students practice collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.

Our youngest children use age-appropriate software to exercise elementary skills and complete simple projects with their classmates and teachers. Our Kindergarteners, for example, manipulate virtual pattern blocks on an interactive website as they grapple with shape recognition and construction.

 

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