At PDS, technology is seamlessly integrated into the classroom to support and enhance student learning. With technology, students are given a choice in how they demonstrate and apply their knowledge.
As educators we ask, “Can this learning be done the same way without technology?” If it can, then technology would just be used for technology's sake. But if the learning can take on more relevance and meaning with technology and lead to real-world tasks, then various forms of technology are available at the moment so that students can build a deeper understanding of content. That is seamless integration.
In 2001, we were among the first elementary schools in the nation to launch a 1:1 laptop program. Today, every boy in senior kindergarten through 6th grade has a laptop. Nine carts of iPads are also available for student use. Laptops, iPads, and iPods - in centers and individually - are available for the younger students.
Use of technology for both teachers and students has been instrumental in the ongoing development of our a curriculum, which is customized to meet the learning needs of each boy.
In 2014, Presbyterian Day School was among a select group of schools in the world Apple recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for our exemplary learning environment for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence.
The Technology Department created an E-Book to document some of the achievements that led to PDS being recognized as an Apple Distinguished School. For more detailed information on our decade-long technology integration, download our E-Book.
December 9 - 15 is Computer Science Education Week, which is dedicated to showing K-12 students the importance of computer science. This week is also held to recognize the birthday of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906) who was a computer pioneer, a computer scientist, and a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. She is called the "mother" of Cobol (Common Business-Oriented Language), one of the first programming languages to rely on language rather than numerical machine code that paved the way for modern programming. She would have turned 107 years old.
Hopper was one of the first people to use Harvard's Mark I computer, which measured 51 feet long, eight feet deep and eight feet tall. Once, when the computer malfunctioned, Hopper reportedly picked a two-inch moth out of it, which is why we now say a program has "bugs" in it whenever something goes wrong.
To celebrate this week at PDS, boys in senior kindergarten through sixth grade will join students and teachers in classrooms around the globe in a worldwide initiative called Hour of Code. Presented by Code.org, a Seattle-based nonprofit, the organization strives to explain the merit of learning some basic computer programming. There continues to be a huge gap between the number of computer-related jobs in the U.S. and students who study computer science.
Staff from the PDS Technology Department will spend an hour this week with each SK - 6th grade class teaching grade-level programming techniques by showing the connection between symbols and actions as well as the valuable skill of debugging. This will be followed by an age-appropriate app on iPads to practice basic programming techniques.
This week is Digital Citizenship week. In addition to knowing how to use technology appropriately, digital citizenship means to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly online. At PDS, we take this very seriously.
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