At Project Learn School, we believe students should learn to use technology in meaningful ways that promotes 21st century communication skills. We strive to integrate technology into our hands-on, project-based curriculum in age appropriate ways, working carefully to strike the right balance between “screen time” and “face-time.”
Two questions guide our teachers when deciding whether to incorporate a certain piece of technology into the school day: 1) Are the students actively engaged (filming, recording, researching) versus passively staring at a screen?; and 2) Does the use of the technology build community? Once a teacher decides to implement a certain piece of technology, staff members continuously work to evaluate its effectiveness.
In general, students’ interaction with technology evolves from our primary Groups into Junior High. Our youngest children (5-7 years old) use computers to listen to reading. Our 7-9 year-old students begin learning to word process, make slide shows and conduct research. This group also has access to math and reading programs as part of their Choice Time activities. When a student reaches 10-12 years old, they publish all of their writing on a word processing program. Students learn how to conduct online and text based research, while completing their Spring Search projects. Our 10-12 year olds also create group projects using Google Slides and PowerPoint. Our 11-14 year-old Jr. High students are expected to use technology in their group and independent projects, including but not limited to research, word processing, model building, video making, and publishing. Students leave PLS knowing how to appropriately use technology to navigate the vast amount of information that sits at their fingertips.