Driftwood Elementary school is proud that it offers a technology special for all of our students. The curriclulum starts at Kindergarten where they learn some of the parts of the computer, how to manipulate the mouse/touchpad by using a painting program, and by the end of the year they are taught how to sign in to the computer using their student ID and password. Over the next three (3) years the students continue to progress in their knowledge of computer hardware and software.
When they reach fourth (4) grade they have enough computer knowledge that they move into Broward County School's Digital Technology program, commonly known as D4 and D5. This is where there is one (1) computer for each student. This program incorporates digital learning of Florida Standards with typical learning.
One of the most exciting things that the students participate in is an international program called "Hour of Code." This offer everyone the opportunity to be introduced to computer programming or coding. The program is available to everyone all year and can be accessed through the following link code.org. All classes students spend the month of November learning about coding at their grade level during the month of February. In early December Drifwood Elementary along with students around the world participate in the Hour of Code event that reaches well into the millions of students.
The Importance of Computer Technology in an Elementary School
A report conducted by the IT Opportunities in Education Market (https://www.comptia.org/resources/comptia-research-it-opportunities-in-the-education-market May 1, 2011) showed that teachers in elementary schools noticed their students’ learning process is significantly richer today, because they integrated technology-based projects in their curriculum. Technology is an important element in grade school curriculum since it helps create a learning environment in which students are more confident and productive as they engage in projects that empower them to take ownership of their education.
In today’s elementary classroom, technology aids expression. Students learn to make visual presentations, choose better vocabulary and can write book reviews as bloggers. Daily computer use is essential as it helps young learners understand various software tools. Although the software will change before they enter high school, they will have a basic understanding of how various classes of computer tools work.
Technology is an information vehicle that challenges elementary students intellectually by giving them immediate access to information online, such as video of Martin L. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech and documents that can be downloaded from the Library of Congress. Technology helps enhance students’ world view. As young learners they can communicate with students around the world through webcams. Technology gives new meaning to research and helps students gain worldly perspectives that are not always captured in textbooks.
Technology can help grade school students cultivate skills that they can carry with them through college and as adults in the working world. Research on the Internet fosters students’ analysis and problem-solving skills as they work individually and in teams to gather information and come to conclusions. Computer programming or writing code can help develop critical thinking skills as students learn how to place tasks into a logical sequence and technical skills are developed through students' using various software tools.
Mixing technology in the classroom supports learning and builds students’ confidence. When students are taught through slide shows or by showing films, the lessons are stimulating; when they access new information online, they feel motivated; and when they learn new software tools, they are empowered. Incorporating technology in the curriculum gives students a sense of purpose and their attitude towards their education becomes positive.