The Technology Program at Good Shepherd Lutheran School is comprehensive and a balanced approach towards age-appropriate technology skills. Students begin technology lessons in first grade and continue throughout their middle school years.
Our first grade students work with our school iPads and computers. iPads are used with apps to help reinforce concepts they are learning in school and for creative projects. Computers are utilized for keyboarding skills and eye–hand coordination with mouse skills.
In second grade, students utilize school iPads to work with educational apps, presentation apps and creative projects. We also continue developing keyboarding skills, using the computers (including new laptops) to become more proficient users of the QWERTY keyboards. One program used for this is Typingweb.com. Each child has their own login and can practice at home if they choose. Fun games are included on this web-based program.
Third grade students begin learning the basics of programming in Scratch. Scratch is a visual programming language that makes programming fun and accessible to children of all ages. Students are given challenges to perform in Scratch which helps them practice thinking logically, taking apart commands to simple steps, and being creative. Scratch is web-based and we encourage parents to have students share the programs on their home computer or mobile device. Using www.code.org, the students have learned to create a user name and login and have started learning how to code in a fun and safe manner.
Students in the fourth grade start pursuing the bigger questions of, "How things work." Taking a STEM (science, technology engineering and math) mindset, students work on projects to learn how to make stronger bridges, investigate flight and use their minds and hands to make things. They use the school’s iPads to research, and they also learn how to identify credible sources on the internet. Using the reliable source, www.commonsensemedia.org, we can teach our student's how to search the internet in a safe and reliable way.
The main goal for fifth grade students is to work proficiently in Microsoft Office and to integrate the use of technology into their classroom assignments. While many students have typed a paper in Word, they will go beyond word processing to learn the ins and outs of making attractive papers, newspapers and presentations, which will help them throughout middle school and beyond. Later in the fifth grade year, students learn to work with spreadsheets and graphs to be able to help manipulate and analyze data.