This is very exciting year regarding technology in the ES. We have just finished rolling out almost 350 iPads and 140 MacBook Pros to students and teachers. Students have access to class sets of iPads in grades 1-4 and we have a 1:1 MacBook environment in grade 5. The iPads and MacBooks provide our students with exciting opportunities to become creators of a wide variety of digital media. The multimedia capturing and editing capability of the iPad and MacBook is truly amazing and surprisingly straightforward. The ability to construct and deconstruct media in the form of videos, images and audio are considered the “new literacies” for the 21st century. Digital products will also allow our students to publish and share their work beyond the classroom to wider audiences around the world and, most importantly, with family who often live overseas.
Along with the opportunities to use these devices creatively comes the challenge for us to ensure that technology is used with the purpose and intent that we model for our community of learners. We also emphasize that there is a time to use technology and a time to put it away! In grade 5 students have been engaged in conversations and activities around “digital citizenship” and what it means to be a responsible, safe, honest and respectful member of the online global community. It was also wonderful to see such a great turn out for the first ES Parent Focus Group session that provided our ES parents with information concerning our vision for technology use at school and how they might set up healthy routines and procedures for technology use at home. (Mike Moody, ES Instructional Technology Coach)