Ask a Division Head: How Do Elementary Students Use Technology at Springmont?
Springmont is conscientious and intentional, using technology to positively impact your children’s best development at each stage of their learning. Our Elementary classrooms are equipped with computers and Keyboarding without Tears (KWT), a well-vetted, award-winning digital communication program. This developmentally-based program includes learning fluent typing, computer functions, formatting texts and digital citizenship. Every child has an individual user account so that he can move forward step-by-step through a series of grade-appropriate skills each year. Parents are given password access to allow 10 minutes daily practice for their child at home.
In Lower Elementary, students learn
• Two-handed typing with correct finger placement,
• Cross-curricular content in language arts, social studies and other subjects, and
• Self-directed, game-based lessons that add motivation and encouragement.
In Upper Elementary, students continue using KWT to
• Improve typing speed and fluency,
• Develop skills needed for computer-based testing, and
• Expand skills needed for writing longer passages.
Social responsibility and discriminating digital behavior are essential to appropriate use of technology. Throughout their Elementary years, our students learn digital citizenship from their classroom Teachers, Springmont Media Specialist Leslie Wachter and the KWT program.
Visiting the Media Center, students learn how to choose reliable resources, both in print and digital forms, and to use the computer as a scholarly tool. In Lower Elementary, children learn the basics of gathering information and writing about a chosen topic. In Upper Elementary, students are instructed on the more formal steps of a research project and expand their searches to include online resources. They learn to use EBSCO, an online database, to do in-depth, online research, developing great skill in narrowing their search and vetting websites for legitimacy. As they complete their sixth year, students present at least one research project using PowerPoint.
Would children be well-served by spending more school hours in front of screens? Although many educators have opinions, there is no research that says this is so. See two opposing views here.
Daily, we see that Springmont students of all ages are “engaged in powerful learning experiences and … given voice and choice in what and how they learn.” Springmont children are thoughtful users of technology. We know from our alumni that the years spent learning to think clearly, glean concepts from studies, collaborate with peers, innovate and connect ideas are invaluable, and that when our students begin to use technology even more frequently, they adapt easily and readily