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Technology

As a forward-thinking institution, it would be difficult to walk the halls of our campuses without seeing the impact of technology at our school. We have successfully integrated several aspects of technology into our daily learning. Technology has become a critical component of our curriculum at Notre Dame Academy, with hands-on instruction beginning as early as Pre-K3.

This entire initiative has been funded through the Annual Fund and our student-led annual Fun Run, thanks to the generous support of our donors. With the proceeds from the Fun Run, we have been able to add another Apple® MacBook cart to the elementary school, which is currently assisting our fifth graders as they prepare for their Exhibition. The accessibility of technology for our students has allowed us to expand our learning curriculum into new areas. Moving forward, we are looking to create an adaptive learning environment that will increase our students’ ability to learn at their own pace and achievement levels. We are expanding our global connections and seeking out new ways to interact with students throughout the world via teleconferencing. Finally, we are teaching our students to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable citizens through increased efforts in digital literacy.

Tools for growing young minds

At Notre Dame Academy, technology is seamlessly integrated into every aspect of the educational process. Whether it is a Pre-K3 student working with number and letter recognition apps on an iPad, a 5th grader using a Macbook to prepare an exhibition video project as the culmination of the IB Primary Years Program, or an 8th grader watching pearl diving on an iPad as part of a unit on Steinbeck's The Pearl, ND Academy students use technology as tools for learning, as well as to ask questions about the things they have learned. They use technology to learn, to broaden their worldview, to express their ideas, and to communicate with other people and cultures that have different experiences and ideas. Additionally, they learn to use technology in ways that keep them safe and in ways that do no harm to others.

Every teacher at ND Academy has a Skype account and every classroom is equipped with a high definition camera for teleconferencing. We encourage teleconferencing in the classroom because it helps to expand a student’s world. Some of our classes Skype with other IB schools around the country or with friends of ND Academy around the world. Classes this year have Skyped with people in Nigeria, Japan, Antarctica, and other countries, which helps to develop our students’ “international-mindedness”.

Technology @ ND Academy

Apple Initiative

ND Academy’s Apple Initiative, begun in Fall 2010, has made MacBooks and iPads available to every student at ND Academy. Every teacher at ND Academy has been provided a MacBook and an iPad and training to help them develop enriching lessons using the technology. This initiative has had an enormous impact on how our teachers teach and how our students learn.

iPads and iPod Touch

The best educational apps provide an immersive and child-centered learning environment that allows each student to work at an appropriate pace. The variety of apps allows the student to see the same concept from a wide variety of perspectives.

  • 1:1 iPads – every Middle School and Upper School student is assigned an iPad
  • iPad Centers – 5 iPads per classroom in Pre-K3 through 2nd Grade
  • iPad Cart – 5th Grade
  • iPod Touch Carts: Early Years

MacBooks

ND Academy currently has 225 MacBooks for our 530+ students from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Every high school student is assigned an individual MacBook. The MacBooks give students the opportunity to take the information they learn and create something out of it. Using programs like GarageBand, iMovie, Kidspiration, Word, and PowerPoint and an ever-growing number of powerful websites, students can create original songs, podcasts, movies, slideshows, cartoons, and much more to express their own ideas.

Cooperative Learning Center

The Cooperative Learning Center provides a space for groups of students to work on projects together. It is a perfect place to create music, podcasts, movies, eBooks, and more with the MacBooks.

Production Studio

The Production Studio features a professional video camera, green screen, and lighting to create projects at an even higher level. The control room includes powerful MacBook Pro and iMac computers to turn the video footage into broadcasts or movies.

Blended Learning

Blended learning combines quality, teacher-led learning with intelligent and adaptive computer-based learning. These systems record every mouse-click and keystroke and adapt the lesson based on how each student responds to the previous material. This allows each student to receive a lesson that is ideally suited to his or her needs. It also allows the student to work from home with the teacher able to track the progress of each student at school and at home.

Interactive Whiteboards

Every classroom at ND Academy has an interactive whiteboard and an LCD projector. Interactive whiteboards allow programs on one device to be controlled by multiple students and viewed by the entire class. The interactive whiteboard allows the teacher and the student to interact with content in a visual way, and the LCD projector expands the resources available to the teacher by opening the Internet to the entire class.

Teleconferencing

Every teacher at ND Academy has a Skype account and every classroom is equipped with a high definition camera for teleconferencing. We encourage teleconferencing in the classroom because it helps to expand a student’s world. Some of our classes Skype with other IB schools around the country or with friends of ND Academy around the world. Classes this year have Skyped with people in Nigeria, Japan, Antarctica, and other countries, which helps to develop our students’ “international-mindedness”.

Digital Literacy and Citizenship

With the increased use of the Internet and digital technology at ND Academy and in the rest of our lives, ND Academy has begun to teach digital literacy and citizenship to all of our students from Kindergarten through high school. Based on work by the Good Play Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Digital Literacy and Citizenship curriculum takes a balanced approach to issues from online privacy to building positive online communities to copyright and creation.