Information, Media & Technology Literacy
The focus of the districts technological literacy program, at any level (K-8), is first and foremost on using technology to meet objectives related to various academic content areas, while developing 21st Centruy skills. However, the programs function is also to develop student awareness related to computer and technology concepts and issues, as well as to establish skills in interacting with computers and other tools of technology. Awareness of computer system components and functioning, the role of computers and technology in society, user responsibility, safety and ethical issues, as well as increasing proficiency in the operation and maintenance of hardware devices, various user interfaces, and software applications are among the goals of the program. It is necessary for students to develop concepts and skills related to technology-based tools before they can be expected to apply them in learning activities.
Both the academic and technology objectives for each lesson are co-developed by the classroom teachers and technology specialists in an ongoing fashion. As the program schedule is not being used to provide the classroom teacher with prep time, as is done with other special areas programs, the two teachers work in a team teaching arrangement to implement each lesson toward the completion of a larger project.
Due to the open and flexible nature of the program, planned student activities are highly varied in their goals, instructional environments chosen, methodologies selected, and in the amount and structure of time allotted. And although instruction may be somewhat decentralized and activities may vary, the technology literacy knowledge and skills sets addressed are standardized by grade level. These defined skill sets will evolve during the next few years as the districts Student Information Technology Knowledge & Skills Contiuum is aligned with new state and national standards for educational technology.
In addition, in the departmentalized environment of the middle school, students attend technology courses as part of the related arts program. Whether the courses at a grade level are mandatory or elective, they are highly specialized in their focus. The advantage in this is that students may explore a specific application of technology in great detail, spending a full marking period on a more narrowly defined set of tasks in a given area.