by Fishers Island School Principal Karen Loiselle Goodwin
Teachers need to integrate technology seamlessly into the curriculum instead of viewing it as an add-on, an afterthought, or an event.
– Heidi Hayes Jacobs
Fishers Island School educators are embracing the philosophy reflected in the above statement by Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, a highly regarded curriculum expert. What does technology integration look like at Fishers Island School? Here a just a few examples of how we are harnessing the power of technological tools to challenge our students.
- Writing programs (using Codable) to animate figures – in first and second grade!
- Using a spectro photometer in ninth grade science lab to measure and analyze emitted spectra
- Learning and mastering keyboarding skills in K-6, and accessing the program at home for extra practice to improve speed and accuracy
- Conducting research for science fair and interdisciplinary research projects using outstanding electronic databases in our comprehensive new Virtual Reference Collection
- Exploring Pinterest for visual inspiration and using it to organize and save their artistic ideas
- Discussing high quality curriculum resources projected on classroom Smart Boards
- Practicing Spanish vocabulary and grammar skills using the online tool, Conjuguemos
- Using Excel to complete budget simulations in a Personal Finance course
- Composing original music using Garage Band software
- Building and programming robots to complete specific tasks, such as successfully navigating a hall-way obstacle course
- Investigating college and career possibilities through the use of our new online Guidance Direct program
- Viewing assigned online math tutorials for homework to free up more time in math class for complex higher-level problem solving activities
To communicate and inform:
- Upper school students and parents can check grades in every subject area on a regular basis by logging into their personal PowerSchool accounts.
- Third through sixth graders used the Aurasma App and school iPads to create individual videos that communicated their learning to parents at parent teacher conferences
- Our new global messaging system, School Messenger, is being utilized to quickly contact families about weather-related schedule changes, as well as to distribute the Digital Backpack, our new weekly electronic school newsletter aimed at keeping our parents informed about school info and events
- Our teachers use Skype to conference and meet with parents who are not able to get to the island for parent-teacher conferences
- At the suggestion of business official, Marilyn Conroy, our Board of Education is piloting a digital Board packet and agenda, using personal devices to access their many Board meeting documents to save trees and associated copying costs
As you can see, Fishers Island School students, and our school community members, are effectively using a variety of technological tools to demonstrate critical thinking, construct knowledge, share learning and develop innovative projects – all skills they will need to be successful citizens in this digital age.