Lower School Technology
The integration of technology and curriculum is increasingly evident in the day-to-day life of our students. Lower School students are introduced to, and use, a wide range of technology tools, including interactive whiteboards, Chromebooks, cloud computing (Google Apps for Education), iPads, digital cameras and video recorders. As students grow and mature, their access to and use of technology tools also expands, along with expectations that they will use these tools responsibly and with integrity. The Lower School IdeaLab is a place for both technology skill lessons as well for student-designed projects.
All students, from kindergarten to fifth grade, receive technology instruction at least once during the blue/yellow week cycle. A key objective of the Lower School technology curriculum is to help students develop and expand their computing skills, moving from basic to more sophisticated skills (including cloud computing) as they move up through the grades. Technology skills are taught using activities in support of curriclum with an emphasis on stewardship, integrity, and good cybercitizenship.
For kindergarten through second grade students, the focus of the technology classes is on developing basic computing skills (navigation, mouse skills. keyboard awareness). Students in third, fourth, and fifth grades hone and expand their skills through grade-level projects that include writing, research, and often multi-media presentations.
Acceptable Use of Technology Policy
The use of technology, including the William Penn Charter School network, is a privilege meant to enhance learning. Penn Charter regulates the technology program by principles consistent with the Quaker values expressed in the Mission and Philosophy of the school. Such values include honesty and integrity, the individual’s responsibility to the community, and the respectful treatment of every person. Technology users are expected and required to avoid actions that are dishonest, unkind, invasive, illegal or in other ways inappropriate.
Within the Penn Charter community, Acceptable Use of Technology Policy (AUP) provides the framework for technology instruction and use, particularly as students become increasingly more independent and collaborative technology users. Based on Quaker values, including honesty, responsibility, community, respect, and stewardship, the AUP outlines the expectations and responsibilities for using Penn Charter technology resources. While all Lower School student use of technology is supervised, we expect students in grades 3-5 to begin developing an understanding of what it means to be a responsible technology user. The AUP has been rephrased for Lower School students with age-appropriate language. Parents/Guardians should review with their third, fourth, and fifth grades students Lower School's Student Use of Technology Guidelines and Responsibilities.
Google Apps for Education in Lower School
Google Apps for Education is a suite of online tools, including documents, calendars, websites, and e-mail, used by the Penn Charter community for communication and collaboration. These tools are introduced to Lower School student, in age-appropriate ways, beginning in second grade so that students can begin to develop the skills needed for their journey through Penn Charter. These tools are introduced, during Technology classes, in a clearly defined framework with an emphasis on both skills development and the responsible, safe, and ethical use of technology.
1:1 Chromebook Program for 4th and 5th Grades
Each fourth and fifth grade student in the William Penn Charter School is given a Samsung Chromebook to use both in the classroom and at home for school-related work. For specific information about the 1:1 Chromebook Program, please click here.
Keyboarding Without Tears, a structured and managed web-based typing program, is used for teaching keyboarding to third, fourth,and fifth grade students. KWT is an educational program and is designed to help students learn to type quickly and accurately. Fourth and fifth grade students are can easily access lessons using their Chromebooks both on and off-campus. Third grade students use this program on-campus.
Lower School teachers routinely use technology in their classrooms to actively engage students. Lower School classrooms are equipped with a Smart Board (interactive whiteboard), projector, and a computer. In addition, teachers have access to a wide variety of technology tools, including online tools, iPads, video and audio recorders and digital cameras with which they and their students use in a wide variety of projects.