Ware Academy adopted its redesigned Computer Curriculum and Technology Program this fall. Continuing with the integration of technology as a tool within the classroom, Ware has taken its program to a higher level.
For the younger students, hand and eye coordination is an extremely important skill and while many new computer programs are “learning” to adapt to human error, expecting that adaptation to be present cannot replace the improvement of fine motor skills. Touch screen devices like tablets and smartphones are an easy tool to use with younger children because it provides great interactivity without the necessary developed fine motor skills that students will need once they transition to mice and keyboards. Ware Academy’s iPad program has provided students with an introduction to technology in their classroom. Students now enjoy a wider range of tools available to their core curriculum while using the iPads. This introduction helps students to begin understanding basic interaction with devices such as tablets and mobile platforms. Technology class focuses on exploring technology throughout the world. Students will be introduced to new technologies as they learn to use basic mouse and keyboard skills on desktop computers. The classrooms include smart TV’s which the teacher can use to present the iPad interface through, while the technology lab provides the basic interaction and presentation tools needed. Students in kindergarten through second grade are learning how technology is used every day and how it makes tasks easier. Children in these grades are also using the Seesaw Application, a virtual portfolio, in class each day. Parents can access their children’s work as it is published.
For students in the third through fifth grades, expanding the exposure of different devices and different Operating Systems will help students to make connections and comparisons between different devices. These connections are critical for the success of students in furthering their education and being successful in the workplace. One of the goals of Ware Academy is to provide exposure to more technologies. Students have also been utilizing technology to learn, research, collaborate and problem solve as well as the programming and CCS coding for basic robotics. The students culminating project will be the designing, implementing and creating their own websites.
The program in sixth through eighth grades emphasizes career fields involving technology. Each grades’ curriculum and expectations builds upon the previous year’s skills. Projects in sixth grade include conceptualizing, drafting and three-dimensional modeling of a product that provides some function. Students will be tasked with providing research to validate the development of the product as well as a marketing plan and package design. Seventh grade is exploring the use of technology in media creation and editing. Students will use writing skills as well as historical justification to develop a means to communicate with an audience in an innovative way. The curriculum and culminating project directly correlates with the physical science curriculum in eighth grade. Students will integrate previously learned science skills into animations in three-dimensional modeling and physical simulation video game design. This culminating activity assimilates previously taught skill in physics and geometry while developing small video games.
As Ware Academy’s plans for its implementation of technology continues to evolve, so has its strategic planning for the future. The school’s leadership and Director of Technology, Mr. Andrew Gardiner, have goals for the school to house a multipurpose, flexible work space which will include comfortable seating and areas that will foster creative thinking, problems solving and design. This area will provide the necessary space for the continuation of problem based learning and the integration of technology across disciplines. Gardiner shares his vision, “This Makers Space will have areas designed specifically for presentations, video conferencing, robotics, three-dimensional printing as well as a studio that develops skills in imaging, videography and editing.”
Ware Academy continues to offer an exceptional education that focuses on developing the whole child. Please contact Dawn Fleet, Director of Enrollment and Marketing, if you would like more information about Ware’s programs and enrollment process at 804-693-3825 or visit wareacademy.org.