Technology is essential to the way students live and learn in today’s society. Our goal is to make sure our students can easily learn new programs throughout their years at DDS and utilize technology to express themselves, complete their work, and help them take creative approaches and risks while learning. We integrate technology as much as possible dovetailing with class assignments. How we integrate may vary from year to year as classroom teachers change and the curriculum is modified.
We begin in K-2 teaching them how to use computers/iPads. These younger grades reinforce math and language arts skills and learn to accept and post assignments in SeeSaw. Grades 3-7 have school-provided devices and eighth grader are BYOD. We teach proper care of the equipment and instruct throughout the years on digital citizenship with Common Sense Media’s curriculum.
Keyboarding skills are taught in 2-6 using Typing Agent. Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher are added to their skill sets. Additionally, students learn to use Seesaw for classwork, and Flipgrid for various school projects. Upper school students learn to present with various online software including WeVideo, and Adobe Spark, and learn podcasting in SoundTrap. MyDDS (through Blackbaud) is our main LMS platform and students use the full suite of programs on Office 365.
Coding has become a focus of our classes in K-7 during December/January as students participate in Code.org’s curriculum. K-2 students also code in Scratch Jr. and 3-5 work in Scratch.
Classes in 3D design and Tinkercad are key to the sixth grade curriculum as well as graphing and support materials for the school science fair. Sixth and seventh graders delve into circuit-based programming as they continue to learn programs to support their classes and expand their abilities.
The eighth-grade computer curriculum primarily focuses on creating and producing the school’s yearbook. The nature of this curriculum is much more open-ended than some of their previous classes requiring more learning by doing, self-motivation, and self-learning.
The goal of the technology curriculum through eighth grade is to prepare our students to be excellent computer users which will promote their ability to complete work in high school, communicate effectively and efficiently, develop ease and openness to learning new programs as needed.
We primarily use PC computers throughout the school. All students are provided with a Microsoft Office 365 account. The library is equipped with a mobile cart with iPads for use in the library or in classrooms. Parents seeking to purchase equipment or software for their children should know that Windows based computers are preferred, and that Microsoft Word is our recommended word-processing program.
Students and parents are expected to read and sign annually a computer use policy and Code of Conduct, which details what we expect of students who use DDS technology. A copy of this policy can be found in the current DDS Handbook.