At The School in Rose Valley we define “technology” as tools for learning, ranging from paper and pencil to hammer and nails, spinning wheel, cameras and computers. We believe that technology should be used to support active, purposeful, child-centered learning, rather than serving as a means for the acquisition of isolated skills. Since technology is constantly changing, we teach students how to approach new technologies and to apply previously learned skills in their use.
The use and application of all learning tools must be age appropriate. At SRV computers are used primarily by students in third grade and up. Younger students may use them occasionally, or their teachers may use one as a teaching tool for whole group work. In every case, we use computers in context with other curriculum, and most often to do creative work (music, art, writing, creating presentations and web pages), research, data bases and graphing.
There are computers for student use in the library. Each classroom has a projector that can project a computer screen for all of the students to see at once. There is password-protected wireless internet access in each classroom.
Middle Years – The third- and fourth-grade classrooms have net-book laptops for individual student use, an iMac for group work, and digital still and video cameras. Students use the laptops primarily for publishing their creative writing. They also use them occasionally to explore programs related to their studies or to do particular exercises, such as graphing data they have collected. They use the iMac for group projects, such as composing music or editing video.
Older Years – The fifth and sixth graders have a net-book laptop for each student for individual use, an iMac for group work, and digital still and video cameras. Students use the laptops primarily for writing and publishing their creative writing. They also use them to create spreadsheets and graph data they have collected. Each year the older students do one or two research projects, when they are required to use some internet as well as printed sources. Teachers use the computers and other tools to teach skills in finding, evaluating and organizing information. Most students use PowerPoint to create multi-media research presentations. The oldest students also do group work composing and recording music for their annual spring play. Students who wish may pursue digital photography, web page design, and other creative work.