Welcome to the future, where rapidly changing digital technologies have redefined the skills that our students need in order to be prepared to meet the challenges of living in the digital economy. In addition to the core subject knowledge and skills, they need meaningful learning opportunities to develop 21st century skills – critical thinking, innovation, problem solving, collaboration, leadership, and communication.
To ensure that our learners have the ability to continuously learn, adapt and apply rapidly changing technologies, we have adopted the 2016 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Students. At their core, the standards are about teaching and learning and transcend specific technologies. These cross-curricular standards represent what it means to be a digital age learner: empowered learner, digital citizen, knowledge constructor, innovative designer, computational thinker, creative communicator and global collaborator.
The ISTE standards support TAISM’s balanced, integrated approach to learning with technology; learners use technology tools across the curriculum. In addition to integrating technology and the ISTE standards across all subjects, we also provide computer science instruction in elementary, middle and high school.
In Elementary School, we believe in integrating technology across the curriculum. Instead of it being a separate subject, it is applied in every subject. With the goal of successful 1:1 iPad incorporation, TAISM supports its teachers and students with a full-time Technology Integration Specialist. Time and expertise is invested in planning, training and working in direct contact with teachers and students in their classrooms. In addition, the Technology Integration Specialist provides computer science instruction to all students in grades K-5.
Technology Integration Examples in the ES
- Beginning in EC classrooms, students have the opportunity to create and share original work they create on the iPad center activities.
- Beginning in KG and grade 1, students extend their literacy and communication skills by creating books and video presentations to express themselves and share their learning.
- Beginning in grade 2, students begin authoring their own blog site.
- Beginning in grade 3, students receive full access to TAISM’s online tools including Google Apps for Education.
- Grade 4 and 5 students use tools and skills introduced in previous years to work more independently and and with more rigor as they integrate technology throughout grade level curriculum.
Our Middle School students are issued an iPad to use for the school year. At TAISM, we promote a balanced use of educational technology. Students have multiple tech resources available to them at school (including their iPad) and they are used, along with a variety of non-technological resources, to support and enhance learning. iPads are stored at school in students’ home base classroom and can be accessed each morning. Students take trimester courses in computer science in grades 7 and 8.
Technology Integration Examples in the MS
- In the 6th grade they have been writing, editing, and recording podcasts (using the app GarageBand) to show their understanding of how technological advances changed the ways that early hominids lived.
- Seventh-grade math students have been slicing through 3 dimensional solids on their iPads and exploring the two dimensional shapes that result. Their images are recorded on their iPad in a note-taking app called Notability, allowing their teacher to look at their work in real time.
- Eighth-grade students have been presenting projects to one another through iMovie, explaining their reflections and problem-solving strategies through film and narration.
- Students across the Middle School keep digital writer’s notebooks that they can access from their iPads or from any computer at home or elsewhere.
- In PE, students have watched videos of their swimming strokes and then writing self-assessments, highlighting their progress as swimmers, identifying the aspects of mastering individual strokes.
Computer Science Courses in MS
Code Your World
Grade seven students will learn about the language of code by working with block code. They will learn more about the language of code, as well as about the concepts that allow us to create complex but efficient functions. Students will create animations, games, and tell stories by building code, increasing in complexity and involving more sophisticated concepts.
Grade 8 students will explore the creative possibilities that coding skills can provide. By working with block coding, students will learn more about the language of code, as well as about the concepts that allow us to create complex but efficient functions. The second part of this course involves the students using their understanding to design projects that they will execute using code.
The High School faculty and grade 9-12 students are part of an 1:1 iPad program. By providing our students with an iPad, students are able to connect to the internet for research purposes, capture/edit photos, videos, and audio, communicate by email, read, write, annotate, highlight, type, and all of the above combined. iPads allow students to express their knowledge in a different way. Other than using a computer, it can foster creativity and stimulate different parts of the brain which are essential for learning. The iPad program embellishes the already existing technology available at TAISM. Two different semester courses in computer science are offered at the high school.
Technology Integration Examples in the HS
- The online learning platform Google Classroom is accessible for all classes. Most class information such as resources, homework, and assignments/ projects can be found here.
- An online gradebook is used by all teachers so that students and parents can access student progress throughout the year.
- Google accounts provided to students and faculty enhance their communication and collaboration skills with apps like Gmail, Google Drive class folders, Docs, Slides and Calendar.
- Some courses in High School use eBooks, and others, such as mathematics, use graphing calculators or a specific book app that has replaced the printed book.
- Students create videos and add voice-overs to explain and show in detail what is happening with course concepts.
- Students in choir and world languages use and create audio recordings to have practice resources at home or to submit oral assignments.
Computer Science Courses in HS
How does your cell phone work? How does the internet work? Why are Google products free? What is “big data” and why is it so important to businesses and governments? How do you program and create a video game? If you would like answers to these questions and want to learn more about technology and the role it plays in our lives, this is the course for you. By the end of the semester you will be able to give explanation on all of the above, and you will have created your own video game using the block coding language, Scratch. This course is an introduction to the rapidly expanding area of Computer Science, and you do not need to have any background or experience in order to take the course.
Code Your World
We live in a world where computers help us to do things that yesterday seemed like science fiction. Being able to code is becoming a basic literacy in this digital age. Coding is a tool that can allow you to affect change in your world, in the way that Google, Netflix, and Snapchat have revolutionized aspects of everyday life. In this course you will use drag and drop blocks of code that will allow you to create basic coding functions. As you learn how to sequence code to express your ideas, you will also learn that:
- Learning from mistakes is vital
- Success is a scribbly line
- Teamwork is important
- You shouldn’t fear mistakes or failure
- Persistence pays off
Coding is open to everyone, so don’t worry about having no experience with it.
To support teaching and learning with technology, we provide ubiquitous access to information and communications technology tools including one iPad for every student K-12, laptop and ChromeBook carts (COWs - Computers on Wheels) accessible in elementary, middle and high school, digital projectors, interactive whiteboards, and a variety of applications and web-based tools.