We believe technology is a powerful multi-tool. Students learn how to best choose the appropriate tool for a given situation and how to use it. The technology department at Sullins Academy strives to not only teach students how to use various platforms but also the interconnectedness with many aspects of education. Collaboration with classroom teachers is a key component in structuring the technology curriculum as it reinforces the idea of technology as a means to an end. In Primary grades, students learn terminology and basic navigation of the operating system while internet is used to reinforce concepts covered in the classroom. In grades 3 - 8, most assignments are elements of a larger classroom assignment.
Primary school technology classes focus on development of fine motor skills with use of the mouse and basic keyboard. Websites are utilized to reinforce classroom lessons. Beginning lessons in digital safety focus on staying on websites approved by teachers or parents. If an inappropriate site is found, information is shared with parents to make them aware.
Students begin keyboarding lessons in lower school. Basic computer vocabulary and functions are emphasized. Projects in class are used to extend classroom lessons, whether it is building a presentation, writing a paper, creating a poster, etc. for a currently studied unit. Students are given assignments that continue to enhance and develop their technical skills and understanding by producing increasingly more sophisticated documents and presentations. Students learn more abstract ideas and terms while at the same time are introduced to more challenging software and the structure of networks. Netsmartz and Digital Compass age appropriate areas are used to teach and to engage students in conversation regarding approaches for dealing a variety of topics in digital safety and citizenship.
Middle school students continue with keyboarding lessons until a minimum of 45 wpm is obtained. Students focus on utilizing appropriate technology and refining techniques to convey a message. This means students will choose an application that best suits an assignment: infographic, presentation (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi), spreadsheet, word processing, etc. Emphasis is placed on creation that suits a particular audience. They are introduced to multi-faceted projects and exercises to develop abstract thinking skills as well as collaborative skills with others. Students are able to distinguish between copyrighted and public domain software and must be able to articulate both positive and negative aspects of computers and technology.