As I expanded on in my first observation blog post, in the eighth grade classroom I observed in at St. Dominic every student has their own Chromebook to utilize under their teachers’ instruction. After asking my cooperating teacher more about the school’s technology system, I learned that in grades 5-8, each student gets their own Chromebook and in the younger grades, iPads are brought into the classroom as needed. In the eighth grade classroom I was observing in, the students were old enough to be held responsible for bringing their Chromebooks to class working, charged, and using them appropriately. Obviously things happen and problems arise, so my teacher did have charging stations in the back of the classroom. One day a few weeks ago, a student was having trouble with the connection on her Chromebook, so she went to see the technology instructor for help. In order to ensure technology is being used appropriately and safely, St. Dominic utilizes the “Go Guardian” software to observe students’ screens when necessary. This helps make sure everyone is staying on task and using the technology for its intended purpose.
As a whole, St. Dominic begins technology lessons early on. All K-8 students participate in a cross-curricular technology course that is led by the school’s technology instructor, who works closely with the teachers. There is a group effort by the staff in ensuring that content learning and technology lessons are intertwined with one another. In the younger grades, technology class consists of lessons concerning the basics: keyboarding, Internet basics, etc. As the students get older, lessons progress into using the many features Google offers, like Google Docs, Slides, Classroom, etc. The technology instructor also assists teachers and students with any technology problems that may arise. Furthermore, to ensure efficient and easy learning with technology, St. Dominic frequently updates their WiFi and has a fully stocked computer lab with updated technology.