St. John’s integrates technology into the classroom with a one-device-per child model for all of our students, pre-kindergarten through Grade 8. Our Preschool and Kindergarten classes are using iPads, and our Grade 1 through 8 use Chromebooks. Preschool through Grade 3 use devices provided by St. John’s in their classroom; Grades 4 through 8 own their device, which allows them the ability to take them home for projects and homework.
This is very exciting for our students, as well as our teachers. The technology is designed to support the classroom curriculum; the content studied in classrooms becomes the vehicle and the focus for the technology lessons and tools. For example, when our kindergarten students are learning about shape symmetry, they would use The Shape Symmetry iPad app to help reinforce key concepts. When our first graders are learning the parts of an apple, they use the Venn Diagram App to diagram the similarities and differences between apple parts and orange parts. When fifth graders are reading the novel Kokopelli’s Flute, they learn how to use a blogging tool to keep an online journal as if they are a character from the book. When our eighth graders are learning about dissecting frogs, they can use the live virtual dissection extensions available on their Chromebooks.
The very best and most powerful tool associated with these Chromebooks is the Google Apps for Education Suite. Using these tools, teachers can provide homework assignments and projects that are completed online, edited by teachers and sometimes even peers online, submitted online, and graded online without printing anything at all! The “sharing” feature allows students to collaborate in new and exciting ways, much like our real-world working experiences. Alumni report that the Chromebook and Google Apps for Education program at St. John’s prepares them well for similar setups at area high schools.