Technology and Computing
Jolynn Sapia, Instructional Computer Director/Business Education Director
K-5 Technology Integration Scope and Sequence- click here
Information literacy, the ability to find, analyze, manage, present and share information as well as the ability to adapt rapidly to the changes brought about by the availability of information, is a critical skill for 21st century citizens. Students need to become skilled in the use of the range of technology resources they will encounter. These skills will not come from special computer classes or from drill and practice computer use, but through the full integration of technology in their education.
As 21st-century jobs become increasingly information based, workers need to:
- use multimedia tools to communicate and present ideas and concepts orally, in writing and online
- separate the important, relevant information from the vast mountain of information
- quickly learn specialized information in an ongoing fashion
- work effectively in physical and virtual groups
The district’s philosophy of integrating technology into the instructional program reflects these issues.
Integration of Technology into the Instructional Program
Half Hollow Hills shares the perspective of the New York State Education Department as presented in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Frameworks. Student abilities that reflect the district’s aims with regard to the use of technology as a tool within the various curriculum areas are:
- Students will have knowledge, skills and attitudes to pose questions, seek answers, and design solutions.
- Students will use a full range of information systems, including computers, to process information and to network with different school and community resources, such as libraries, people, museums, businesses and industries.
- Students will acquire the knowledge and skills related to the tools, materials, and processes of technology.
- Students will understand the relationships among various disciplines, identify and connect common themes, and apply these themes to other areas.
- Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of various disciplines to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.
In order to implement these standards, and to support the belief regarding the importance of computer technology the following hardware and infrastructure has been incorporated into the instructional program:
- To facilitate communication and access to information resources, an OC-3 fiber optic network connects all school buildings in a high speed Wide Area Network.
- Every classroom, kindergarten through fifth grade, is equipped with three computer workstations and a printer connected to the district's wide area network.
- Every secondary classroom contains a computer workstation connected to the district's wide area network.
- Each of the 11 schools in the district is equipped with a 28-station mobile wireless laptop lab.
- Each of the two middle schools and high schools contain two 28-station computer labs with color laser printers.
- Each of the two high schools also contain a mini lab with 14 computer stations.
- CD-burners, DVD-burners, color scanners, digital still cameras, and digital video cameras are available in every school.
- All libraries K-12 are fully automated and provide students and teachers access to a wealth of electronic resources.
- Card catalogs and circulation process are available electronically in the library as well as from every classroom within each school.
- All libraries have multiple computer workstations that provide students access to the Internet for research purposes as well as to their own personal documents.
Instructional Computing Technology Integration Plan
The overall purpose of the District Technology Plan is to assist in maximizing student achievement by providing students technology tools to support authentic learning experiences by enabling them to find analyze, manage, present, share information and construct new knowledge. Across all grade levels, access to technology allows for:
- differentiation of instruction
- student use of real-world tools
- increased collaboration among students
- student acquisition of visual and information literacy skills
- student acquisition of basic technology skills
- students engaging in higher order thinking activities
- student use of concept maps to help them organize, interpret and use information in new ways
- student use of collaborate tools to enable them to work with others to engage in exploration and solve problems
- student use of media tools to enable them to express their ideas in creative and engaging ways, allowing them to express processes and complex ideas more clearly and easily than they could with text alone.
Technology and Staff Development
The inservice program also reflects the philosophy of active participatory learning. Teachers are trained in the mechanics of using the hardware and software through the exploration of tools that enhance and expand the curriculum by including learner-centered, interdisciplinary, constructionist activities. All staff development sessions have been designed to serve as models for participatory learning. As learners, the teachers engage in activities that involve collaborative learning, discussion and independent research.
To assist teachers and administrators in expanding their skills and to further incorporate technology into the curriculum, intensive professional development workshops are held during the summer. A significant array of inservice courses in technology are offered throughout the year. In addition, teachers attend topic-specific workshop training sessions before and after the school day. All of these learning experiences incorporate current research based educational strategies regarding best practices of teaching and learning and applying technology tools and resources as appropriate to implement these practices to support curriculum.