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The Kingsley Times

Tech Integration and Critical Thinking at Kingsley

Mar 30, 2018 10:37:55 AM / by Doug DeMaio

The advancement of pedagogy with technology is transforming the Kingsley experience.

Technology Integration at Kingsley

Tech IntegrationAt Kingsley, technology integration in the Elementary program is thoughtfully planned and executed, with the goal of building critical thinking skills, along with technical and digital fluency. We view relevant technology as tools designed to increase student productivity and practice while supporting important instructional goals. Through specialized programs with Co-Curricular teachers (science, technology and innovation, library) technology is integrated into daily learning. Students view their technology resources as just that–resources; valuable tools that can be combined and used in creative, purposeful ways.

Upper Elementary Robotics

One example of these specialized programs is the robotics experience that Upper Elementary students participate in as part of their Science and Technology Integration work. Each class develops a challenge of their choice, ranging from building robotic animals to navigating obstacle courses. By creating their own challenges, and basing them on real world issues, students are intrinsically motivated to find solutions. Working in groups, the students used EV3 robotic kits to design, build, and program robots to meet the challenge.

Engineering Design ProcessStudents are introduced to these design concepts in their early childhood years, and work with increasingly complex problems and materials as they progress to Upper Elementary. A range of skills is required to design, build, and program robots. Working in groups allows students to share knowledge, develop skills, and reach more complex solutions than they may have been able to on their own. Students navigate and solve a variety of problems with different skill sets throughout their time in the course. Students also learned JavaScript programming and applied it to create an explainer for why the seasons change. These students have also built electric motors from scratch and experimented with them in a variety of ways. The freedom to use these skills to explore novel situations gives these students the confidence to adapt to and tackle unique problems in the future.

Lower Elementary Future Cities

In the Lower Elementary classes, students design objects using Tinkercad software and print them Kingsley Montessori technologyas part of a “My Future City” project. During this project students work in groups to design and create models of their own cities. Students integrate knowledge from a variety of subject areas when planning and designing their city, taking into account the wide-ranging and interconnected series of challenges related to urban planning. They then use their knowledge of "CAD" (computer-assisted design; as in Tinkercad), to create, in three dimensions, what they've envisioned and planned.

In-Class Tech Time

tech push in time

Students also enjoy opportunities for further technology integration during tech push-in time. During these times Co-Curricular teachers are able to provide lessons ranging from probability, circles, angles, patterns, measurement, through biomedical engineering. These push-in times take place in the primary classroom, and are the product of purposeful collaboration between the teachers, around a relevant topic.

In addition to these uses of technology, which are centered around design thinking, technology is also integrated into classrooms for the purpose of conducting research, representing, sharing and library technologyanalyzing data, note-taking, and developing presentations. Technology is integrated in the Library by teaching students how to use the digital catalog to find and check out books; sharing feedback on books by creating digital peer-to-peer recommendations; and assessing online book trailers for potential addition to the print collection. These collaborative, creative uses of technology encourage students to explore a different side of technology integration. Students also receive support from our librarian with research projects and through learning about a variety of technological resources, including webcasts, Listenwise, and AllSides for Schools; research skills that will prove useful for a lifetime.

One of the most lasting benefits of incorporating technology is that it provides endless opportunities for collaboration and integration of curricula to exist at Kingsley. We're excited to embrace the new opportunities as they arrive.

 

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Topics: montessori, k-12, independent school, Montessori School, technology, critical thinking, technology in school, tech integration, fostering critical thinking

Doug DeMaio

Written by Doug DeMaio

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