A fully equipped computer lab and two mobile labs roll information technology right to our students’ fingertips. Many classrooms are outfitted with projectors and interactive SMARTboards. Digital cameras, 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 their use of it.
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. 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 to become effective and responsible digital citizens.
Our youngest children use age-appropriate software to exercise elementary skills and complete simple projects with their classmates and teachers. Kindergarteners manipulate virtual pattern blocks on an interactive website as they grapple with shape recognition and construction. Students in our 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, graphs and how to use the Internet safely and efficiently to conduct their research or complete a classroom project. Second graders embark on web quests to enrich their classroom study. 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. Fourth and fifth graders hone research and presentation skills with long term multi-faceted projects. Always, it is about using technology as a tool to complete a learning task—not just about learning to use the tool. Our Middle School students tackle more expansive hands-on projects that challenge them to present information and ideas in new and creative ways. Middle School students’ 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.