“Educators should provide a balance of activities in programs for young children, and technology and media should be recognized as tools that are valuable when used intentionally with children to extend and support active, hands-on, creative, and authentic engagement with those around them and with their world.”
--National Association for the Education of Young Children
Our children are growing and learning in the digital age where technology is used in every facet of their lives to manage tasks, seek out information and entertainment, and to communicate with others. The appropriate use of technology can provide opportunities for cognitive, linguistic, physical and social growth. At Harbor we use interactive technology to enhance learning, provide new background knowledge, make abstract concepts more accessible, and to support creativity and exploration.
SmartBoards are used to present information and display media, and also have countless interactive functions, where students follow movement activities, manipulate phonemes and numerals, respond to math problems, practice handwriting, and even FaceTime with people in other parts of the world.
Did you know that our first and second graders have a one-to-one laptop program? This does not mean that they are on their screens all day. There is a dedicated time when the students work with their teachers, led by our Technology Coordinator Mr. A.J., to create their own secure user profiles in which they are learning to program Scratch stories, games and animations, and also to use Tinkercad to design 3-D digital models, which they can then print on our own 3D printer! Our first graders decided to design and print their own tabletop pencil holders, integrating geometry and design to create a functional classroom tool!
When our Preschool 3s class “traveled” to Denmark (for letter D) last week, they learned all about one of Denmark’s greatest exports, the Lego. They learned the history of Legos, built with Legos, painted with Legos, and as a culminating activity, designed their very own Lego brick on the SmartBoard which they printed on the 3D printer! The world’s first jumbo, purple, “Lego” brick (don’t quote us on it) is on proud display in the preschool hallway. Where else do preschoolers get to incorporate this type of interactive technology into their learning?
I can’t even imagine the forms and functions technology will take throughout our students’ educational and professional lives, but I know they will be ready!