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 Kindergarten.
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 Kindergarten 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”.