Technology

At Laurence School, technology is deeply integrated into our K-6 program. Fully aligned with the National Educational Technology Standards for students (NETS-S), our curriculum is technology-rich, preparing our students for the challenges of the 21st century.

iPads

At Laurence, iPads and iPad Minis are an engaging and powerful learning tool for students from Kindergarten through sixth grade. Our Kindergarteners use them as part of their literacy centers to explore interactive picture books, and our first graders use apps like Math Blaster and Rocket Math to master their math facts in a fun, game-like environment. First graders will be exploring Osmo for iPads this year as well! First and second graders use many apps like Daisy the Dinosaur, for example, to learn basic coding languages, preparing them for more advanced coding in later grades. In social studies, students conduct online research and wirelessly display their presentations to the class on SMART Boards, and in reading, students love to annotate their eBooks and publish their writing online. What’s more, our upper grade science classes study the body systems through anatomy apps, and our fifth and sixth graders use a 1:1 iPad program, where each child works on his/her own iPad throughout the day, taking advantage of many useful apps and resources, such as Google Apps for Education as an example.

Primary Grades (K-3)

In the primary grades, students get introduced to technology in general, learning basic computer operations, such as how to use a mouse, navigate menus, open and save files, and print as well as quality time with iPads and iPad minis. K - 3 students use developmentally-appropriate software such as Pixie for drawing, storytelling, writing, and recording, Animation-Ish and the Wacom Tablets for digital art and animation, Turtle Art and MIT's Scratch for coding and programming, Shadow Puppet Edu and Keynote for presentation creation, among others. Students learn best practices for safe searching online and copyright rules for their internet research. 3rd Graders take a keyboarding course at the beginning of the year to help them learn important typing skills and have a course on digital citizenship and civility as well. Many of the best coding and programming apps for the younger set are practiced frequently in the 1st Grade classrooms especially. 1st Graders will also be trying out Osmo, a new technology that makes the iPad into an even more powerful tool for learning by enhancing the iPad's sensing abilities and encouraging self-discovery, collaborative working opportunities, logical thinking, and creative problem solving.

Fourth Grade Technology

Fourth grade begins the year with a course in Digital Citizenship and Civility and has a quick keyboarding refresher course to help keep skills sharp. Students engage in creative technology projects that support our sustainability theme and the fourth grade curriculum. Students use Comic Life to create posters encouraging recycling, use Animation-ish to animate the food chain and life cycle, use SketchBook Express to create original digital art, learn to wield Google SketchUp to design a 3D model of a California Mission, make Keynote presentations about their lives, and design impressive and authentic looking Gold Rush posters using Pages.

Fifth Grade Technology

Fifth Graders, in addition to time spent in the technology lab, enjoy the iPad 1:1 program after participating in a digital citizenship and civility course, have school gmail accounts and take advantage of Google Drive to help them be successful Laurence School students. Students continue to build on the scaffolding of previous learning and do more advanced word processing and graphic design projects this year and also use Animation-ish to draw and animate their own unique Laurence logos.  A highlight of the fifth grade technology program is the Lego Robotics unit. Using Lego NXT robotics kits and Lego Mindstorms software, students work in groups to solve challenges such as programming a robot to follow a line through an obstacle course or to dance to music, for example. Furthermore, they collaborate on projects with children in other independent schools, communicating with these partner classes via blogging, Skype conferencing, and even a combined field trip, where they participate in a joint robotics showcase culminating their accomplishments.

Sixth Grade Tech & STEAM Course

In the sixth grade, students will enjoy having technology courses twice a week, held in the newly remodeled Science Center and in the Technology Center. After a Digital Citizenship and Civility course, students receive their 1:1 iPad for the year, taking advantage of their school-owned gmail accounts and Google Drives, so they can collaborate with fellow students and share/interact with their teachers. Students excitedly participate in our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) course called "Build, Make & Tinker" in which students rotate through four different centers throughout the course of the year, delving into programming and game design with MIT's Scratch and Unity; learning about circuitry and electronics through MaKey MaKey and Squishy Circuits projects; designing 3D environments and objects using Google Sketchup and old 3D design software then building their designs with recycled materials and the 3D printer; and video documentary making or advanced animation. Students will enjoy studying vintage inventions and modifying and recreating modern, improved versions of them in our SteamJunk course. Students will also have time to devote to a "passion project" (anything they are interested in) for Genius Time, allowing students to pursue knowledge and learning through approved projects of their choice, then sharing them with their classmates in a presentation. We finish the year with a Digital Photography and Editing course, allowing students to learn iPhoto and Photoshop skills.

Supplementary Technology Options

Electives, after school classes, and summer camp courses supplement our technology program, allowing our technologically-curious children to explore their interests in greater depth. Some examples of classes that may be offered include: digital photography, moviemaking, stop-animation, robotics, game design, arts & crafts & electronics, etc.

Tech Buzz

Read Tech Buzz to learn about the latest technology projects and creations from Laurence students, who are coding, designing, building, and creating in our state-of-the-art Technology Lab.

Click on the image below to read it now!

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