Technology in education has become increasingly important in recent years. Children today are exposed to technology in ways students were not just as recent as the last decade. First Presbyterian Day School believes in a balanced approach to technology. We view technology as a tool to learning and as an important resource in helping students collaborate and create. However, we also believe that holding a book in your hands and turning the pages is essential to the learning process.
Students in kindergarten have access to a classroom set of iPads to use to reinforce skills during center time. Students in first and second grade each have an assigned iPad to use during the day as needed with regards to limiting the use of screen time as much as possible.
Each third and fourth grader has an assigned iPad with a keyboard to learn keyboarding skills in addition to daily use for learning.
Fifth grade students each have an assigned iPad with a keyboard and take their devices home daily. Students in sixth grade each have a Chromebook (in 2020-2021 we are moving to iPads) assigned to them and take their devices home daily.
As a result of the Spring 2020 COVID-19 shutdown, to provide a virtual learning environment, FPDS launched two learning management systems (LMS). K3 through third grade utilize SeeSaw, and grades fourth through sixth utilize Google Classroom. Fifth and sixth grade students use Google Classroom on a daily basis as a way to prepare them for the junior and high school years where they will need to use a LMS on a daily basis. Grades K5 through fourth offer recorded virtual lessons, and fifth and sixth grade provide live virtual lessons.
In the fall of 2015, our traditional computer lab was renovated and converted to an Idea Lab. The concept of the Idea Lab is to engage students in project-based learning. Students are also introduced to keyboarding beginning in first grade as well as coding and robotics. Carol Brister, technology instructor, uses classroom time to facilitate cooperative learning and thinking. Students work together to create projects that correlate with classroom curriculum. The room features white board walls and table tops, two high-definition televisions with Apple TV, custom-built cabinetry, modular furniture, and vivid colors to inspire the imagination.
In sixth grade Science, students use 3D printing to develop engineering skills to solve various scientific problems. Students also have access to a laptop cart for use in scientific research and creating presentations.