An Essential Part of Education Technology is pervasive in our lives and is a critical component of children’s education. It can help them learn and discover. It has become a part of their daily lives and is essential in school and beyond. Giving them a head start is an important beginning.
“We introduce a variety of programs to expand children’s overall knowledge of computers.”
Integration into the School Curriculum
Technology in the school curriculum cannot exist in a vacuum. Just as integration is essential in history, art, and music, it is also important for technology. Dutchess Day School students use computers in the lab, in classrooms, and in the library.
New concepts or software are taught during lab time. This time is also used to reinforce basic skills such as keyboarding and word processing. We introduce a variety of programs to expand children’s overall knowledge of computers.
Students also use computers in their classrooms to help strengthen math, language, problem solving, and research skills.
In addition, laptops provide upper school students with online research resources and enable them to have computers in virtually every classroom when needed.
Integration into Real-World Tasks
Our students also learn to use software that will serve them throughout their adult lives. We teach word processing in first grade using Microsoft Word, the same word processor commonly used in offices. This way, students learn on software that they will continue to use instead of having to upgrade their skills from a simplified word processor.
Further, upper school students are taught spreadsheets using Excel, lower and upper schoolers learn PowerPoint presentation software, and eighth graders learn page-layout and Photoshop basics to produce the school’s yearbook. All these programs are used widely in the professional world.
State of the Art
Computers change at an amazing pace. DDS seeks to stay current but is also cognizant of our families’ need for software which is compatible with that at home In September of 2007 the newly renovated library opened, complete with a mobile cart of twelve Apple Macbook laptops and equipment for video production and editing. Our computer lab uses PCs, which gives us a truly dual-platform environment. Each year new computers are added in classrooms. We also have Smart Boards, digital cameras, digital video equipment, and scanners, all of which students use to produce various reports and presentations.
We use primarily PC computers throughout the school. The library is equipped with a mobile cart with Apple Macbook laptops for use in the library or in classrooms. Parents seeking to purchase equipment or software for their children should know that either platform is acceptable and that Microsoft Word is our recommended word-processing program.
At DDS we believe that the Internet is a wonderful resource, if students are taught techniques for navigating it efficiently. Surfing the Web can be unproductive when not used appropriately. Our students’ work online is always supervised and focuses on specific research tasks and projects. We have full lab access to the Internet in order to teach specific Internet skills, including evaluation of information. Internet connections are also provided in all classrooms.
Open Lab Policy
Students are encouraged to make use of our open-door policy for computer lab use. Teachers often send students to use computers for research or word processing. Students may also make special arrangements to stay after school to use the equipment under faculty supervision.
Acceptable Use Policy
Students and parents are expected to read and sign annually a computer use policy, which details what we expect of students who use DDS equipment. A copy of this policy can be found in the current DDS Handbook.