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Technology as a Tool for Instruction

Notre Dame Academy Elementary School is committed to innovation and the use of technology as a tool for instruction.

Rather than having students leave the classroom to use technology is a separate space, technology has been distributed to each of the classrooms for students to use in the course of regular academic subjects. A qualified technology coach works closely with teachers and students to assist in the planning and implementation of lessons that are highly motivating, utilize small group instruction where appropriate, differentiate instruction and integrate technology skills into the curriculum.

All classrooms are outfitted with SmartBoards or InFocus televisions that more than simply “clean” blackboards; they improve instruction by enabling teachers to develop interactive presentations for students and deliver content more creatively.

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classrooms have access to a SmartTable, allowing students to work on individual or small group activities tailored to their ability levels.
Grades K-3 use a set of Spheros to acquire prerequisite skills for robotics.
Grades 4 and 5 regularly use WeDo 2.0 robotics kits.
Robotics is an elective for students in grades 5-8, wherein students further their study in the field on the more advanced MindStorm EV3 kits.

Each grade from Kindergarten to grade 5 has a set of iPads for student use. In addition to using iPads during regular coursework, other relevant activities include, but are not limited to coding, research, and access to highly engaging learning materials at varied levels of difficulty to facilitate differentiated instruction.

Students in grades 5 – 8 take a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) course weekly. This hands-on course is highly motivating and helps students develop problem solving and higher order thinking skills as they learn about these exciting disciplines using an integrated approach.

Students in grades 6 to 8 use TCI, a fully interactive, software-based program that has allowed for not only the more fluid integration of technology skills, but also the ability for students to have access to a variety of leveled materials and complete and submit work electronically.

IXL is utilized across most grade levels to enable students to work on specific strategies identified as strengths or areas of grown at their own individual needs and paces.

Proper use, or “citizenship,” has been a focus, and students practice responsible use of technology not only by handling the equipment appropriately, but also by following communication guidelines and rules.