The technology program at St. Mary's is designed to give students the essential knowledge and skills that all students need to be active, lifelong learners in a technology intensive world.Â The program is designed to be a foundation upon which students can build.Â Â The skills they learn are not only practical for today, but they can take them and apply them in their future academic and employment careers.
In Kindergarten and First grade students learn about computer systems, learn to log in and out of a computer, use programs, and become familiar with the keyboard.Â We use the computer to practice reading and math skills.Â In mid-year, first grade students type their spelling words.
In Second and Third grade we focus on learning the keyboard and proper keyboarding skills. By the end the year students are typing 10-20 words per minute!Â Some students will even type as high as 30-40 words per minute. During the third grade we introduce PowerPoint and by the end of the year students are creating simple presentations.
In Fourth and Fifth grade we continue to practice our keyboarding skills while incorporating projects into the lessons.Â Fourth grade is the year students are introduced to ProgressBook.Â Students in every grade are encouraged to check ProgressBook regularly.Â We want students to take ownership of their work and their grades. These students also develop their presentation skills with PowerPoint by creating several projects that are presented in class using the interactive whiteboard.
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth are filled with project based learning.Â Students enhance their abilities with Word, PowerPoint and Excel.Â We discuss topics such Internet safety and Internet bullying.Â Students learn to discriminate between good and bad information on the Internet and do research projects using correct MLA format.Â We discuss plagiarism and how to avoid it. Students will learn to use Excel to create databases. They learn how to create graphs using the data they collect during various projects. We work together with the Science teacher to complete their data and graphs for Science Fair.
Coding is also a very important part of the technology landscape today. Students in grades Four through Eight participate in the Hour of Code program. However, rather than just one hour of coding, we continue exploring code and various simple languages for at least a month, giving students the opportunity to be creative. Some classes use MineCraft to create cities that they have studied in their Social Studies classes.