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21st Century Skills and Technology
By: Technology Coordinator Becky Taylor
When integrated in intentional and meaningful ways, technology goes hand in hand with the 6 C’s of education: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, communication, citizenship, and character education. These life skills are critical for success in our ever-changing world, and Rossman educators cultivate each of them on a daily basis by enhancing students’ learning through technology that is visible in many forms. By giving our students accessibility to technology when needed, we give them a choice in their voice to the world.
This summer, Rossman was able to take accessibility to the next level. We made some big changes on campus by putting devices in almost every single classroom.
Our Junior Kindergarten classroom now has eight iPads to enhance their curricular programs such as Handwriting Without Tears.
Senior Kindergarten is continuing this year with eight iPads, ensuring students are able to begin their coding experience right in the classroom as well as the Tech Center.
The Code.org curriculum has proven to be quite a success at Rossman, and this year we will be adding second grade to the program. This year’s second graders have been involved in Code.org since they were in SK!
We doubled the iPads in the first and second grade classrooms this year, giving each 16 devices and the flexibility to enhance their daily lessons for all students in a half-group setting.
Third grade will be the first classroom to utilize all of the features of our sixteen new Chromebooks. Rossman has been a G Suite school for several years and the move to Chromebooks give these students fast, reliable access to powerful web-based tools.
The addition of sixteen iPads in our Upper School social studies classroom has been on our radar for a while, and this year we were able to complete that mission. Students are already creating and collaborating on projects like Flipgrid, a new video platform that allows students to amplify their voice by recording short videos on specific topics assigned by the teacher.
Our Spanish classroom now has sixteen iPads (up from eight) to help students hone their Spanish vocabulary and speaking skills. These listening centers have proven to be a great addition to our foreign language curriculum.
A mobile cart of sixteen MacBook Air laptops remain in each of the Upper School classrooms (grades 4-6), accessible for any lesson that needs a technology “boost.” From research to creating work in Google Drive or completing the weekly online Wordly Wise assignments, students are able to use these devices in a creative, meaningful way every day.
When the students are not busy participating in hands on experiments in the science lab, the Discovery Education curriculum in Upper School science is accessed with the sixteen iPads located in the science department. These devices are also available to Lower School science classes when our young learners need a device.
And last, but not least, our library has eight iPads available so students can utilize our Alexandria Database to find the perfect reading companion. Using these devices on a regular basis, students learn to be a good researcher and digital citizen.
Meshing technology within the daily educational environment can be tricky, but rewarding. The Rossman faculty takes great care to undertake this practice with understanding and mindfulness so each student is prepared to meet the challenges they will face in the future.
Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in Creve Coeur, is an independent preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills. Request a free Rossman School brochure here.