For our youngest learners, there is an intentional decision to limit digital device use in the Beehive. Our focus is on developing the whole child including character, creativity, intellect, physical skills, and ability to contribute as a community member. The relationships and experiences that are needed to develop these areas cannot be replaced digitally or in a virtual environment.
We do use digital technology to expand and document the students' experiences and thinking. Teachers use, present, and encourage discussion about digital content where developmentally appropriate. There will be many, many opportunities for your child to develop and engage in digital content and skills throughout his or her Catlin Gabel journey.
Lower School students are gradually introduced to technology in age- and developmentally appropriate lesson plans. Lower School student are each assigned an iPad for in-school use. In the 3rd – 5th grades, laptops are available in addition to the iPads.
1st & 2nd Grades
In 1st and 2nd grades, technology use primarily takes the form of student self-assessment as they demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of their own learning through the creation of videos and digital portfolios. Discussion of good digital citizenship principles including applying our own Lower School rules of "Be Safe and Be Kind" online are discussed and practiced frequently.
In 3rd grade, in addition to self-assessments, students begin skill-based learning. This includes keyboarding with laptops using Typing Pal and increasing math automaticity using FasttMath. Using iPads allows students to explore and record their learning both on campus and off. Students are also introduced to Google Apps for Education for writing and classroom projects.
In the 4th grade, students receive their Catlin Gabel email account. They also begin to access the school's learning management system, Haiku and Google Classroom for daily coursework and homework assignments. Developing digital literacy and digital citizenship continues in full force as students begin to more deeply explore the online world. Skills continue to be reinforced with the use of Typing Pal, FasttMath and IXL in addition to Google Apps for Education.
By 5th grade, students are fully immersed in using technology for many aspects of their coursework. Students blog, manage research projects, tell stories with a variety of digital tools, and curate portfolio content. Critical assessment and selection of digital resources and online content, along with appropriate copyright use, are emphasized.
Students are not required to purchase a laptop in the Lower School. By the 3rd grade it may be necessary for a student to have access to a computer to reinforce keyboarding and math skills.
In 4th and 5th grades, access to a computer for homework completion is required. If you feel the need to purchase a laptop for your child, we suggest a Chromebook. The school does not purchase hardware for Lower School students.