At St. Catherine of Siena School, we understand the importance of teaching basic skills like reading, writing, and math. But if we provide students with only the basics, then they will suffer from a gap in the knowledge and skills they need to function well in twenty-first century workplaces. In order to be effective citizens, workers, and leaders in society, students also need practice with critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and working creatively.
Technology in our computer lab or in the classrooms engage our students to make connections to the real world while supporting and enhancing our rigorous curriculum. Computer education and technology permeate our fully wireless campus through a suite of iPad carts and Jr. High Chromebook laptops. St. Catherine of Siena teachers use technologies that help students streamline daily processes. This increases opportunities that incorporate critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity into students’ daily learning, while promoting digital accountability and responsibility.
Students in grades kindergarten through fourth attend a weekly technology class in our computer lab which is equipped with 20 laptops, and it is taught by the technology teacher, Mrs. Patricia Bandel. This class covers the technology standards set forth by California and by the San Francisco Archdiocese. The classroom teachers and Mrs. Bandel collaborate to integrate the classroom curriculum into technology based activities in the lab. During this class, students are also introduced to computer science by learning basic coding skills and collectively working together in writing code to solve problems. Students in first and third grades have 1 to 1 access to IPads that are loaded with innovative apps and learning tools. In addition, our students are encouraged to expand their way of thinking, learning skills and communication skills while understanding their responsibility to be positive digital citizens. Most importantly, we ensure that students become ethical and safe users of Internet resources.
In grades 5-8, students are given their own school email accounts so that they can start to ensure a seamless transition from middle school into high school and beyond. Technology standards are woven into their curriculum. Students have access to Chromebooks or they can choose to bring in their own device. Students work collaboratively with each other and their educators using all the tools that Google Classroom has to offer. Through the use of Google Classroom, as a part of the Google Apps for Education (GAFE), our teachers communicate with the students in this one to one environment. This provides students with the ability to get information needed at any time or anywhere, extending the learning environment. Students in 5 th grade have one to one access to IPads that are loaded with innovative apps and learning tools. Teachers also have access to Elmo document cameras and overhead ceiling projectors in every classroom to bring learning to every type of learner.