STEAM and Technology

21st Century Tools for 21st Century Learners

Every year, it amazes us as students become increasingly become more independent, more creative and more productive in how they work and apply technology to their assignments. Students at Saint Clement have access to a variety of technological tools and applications, as we look at our goal of integrating technology and applications seamlessly into our curriculum, standards, and teaching practices. Saint Clement developed a comprehensive technology plan and introduced over $250,000 of equipment and resources into our facility and curriculum.

Lower School Technology

In keeping with our vision, teachers in the Lower School strive to inspire students with an enduring love of learning, including an appreciation for technology and its many uses. Technological literacy is part of students’ learning starting in Kindergarten, when students begin using computers in a lab setting. The lab, or Media Center, is seen simply as a multimedia extension of their classroom. Students in grades K - 3 have weekly classes in the Media Center. They participate in activities and projects that introduce technology-related skills. Technology is embedded in their core curriculum, and all pursuits reinforce the content of classroom learning. Students in grades 4 - 5 utilize a mobile laptop cart that travels to their classrooms, laying the foundation for a one-to-one laptop experience that begins in middle school. In addition to their lab experience, students in grades K–5 have access to classroom computer stations.

Technology skills addressed at each grade level are framed by the ISTE National Education Technology Standards (NETS). Technology instruction is connected to classroom learning as much as possible. Teachers shape their students’ computer experiences in varied ways, but all Saint Clement technology instruction includes:

  • Activities that promote language development through reports, writing activities, and desktop-publishing activities.
  • Math-related activities that involve quantifying, labeling, and measuring.
  • Activities involving collecting and recording data and then interpreting and representing it.
  • Research activities involving online information—and encouraging students to compare online material with other sources of information.
  • Computer experiences oriented around multimedia creativity (involving pictures, sound, clip art, text, visual transitions).

Kindergarten - Grade 3

  • Every classroom has a SmartBoard.
  • Fully dedicated Apple Media Center designed in 2011. This state of the art lab supports our youngest students' curriculum, as we encourage our technology native students.
  • Mobile iPad Lab
  • Elmo document camera in every room.

Grades 4 - 5

  • Every classroom has a SmartBoard.
  • Fully dedicated mobile laptop lab devoted to these grade levels. Students and teachers have access at any point to utilize and incorporate technology into the core curriculum.
  • Elmo document camera in every room.

Upper School Technology

The majority of computer use by upper school students is done on mobile devices used in classrooms. In the fall of 2014, we initiated a One-to-One Program for all middle school students 6-8. Because upper school is a period where students safely experience the transition from childhood to young adulthood, we spend a significant amount of time working with our students to assist them in developing healthy habits, especially with technology. In 6th grade we introduce students to our Acceptable Use Policy and particularly discuss personal privacy in terms of technology and the internet. These discussions are deepened as we explore concepts of technology wellness, ergonomics, internet safety, and responsible behavior.

Most technology skills are taught and developed in the context of the classroom learning environment. We have embedded skills defined in the ISTE National Education Technology Standards and 21st Century Skills into the academic curriculum so that isolated skills instruction is not necessary. Instead, students learn the skills they need as they are used in the learning process. In addition, students have access to digital still and video cameras as well as content-specific technologies and applications such as document cameras, digital audio recording, and online tools and assessments appropriate to support learning. In the middle school, all academic departments work closely to incorporate technology into their curricula. Students work with a wide range of applications to write, collect, analyze, create, and synthesize information in all media forms.

Some examples of skills taught in context include:

  • Audio recording – taught in world language classes as a tool for demonstrating mastery of language
  • Word processing – taught in language arts classes as the primary tool for the writing process
  • Online research and use of online databases – taught in social studies and science classes as a significant tool in the research process
  • Spreadsheet manipulation – taught in science and math classes as a tool for illustrating and communicating data

Remaining skills, such as use of technology for collaboration, communication, and creative expression, are integrated throughout the content areas.

Parenting, Media, and Everything In Between