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ST1.4 Students use technology resources to conduct research, demonstrate creative and critical thinking, and communicate and work collaboratively.
What were the areas of strength noted in the Self Assessment?
One of the main strengths of AGE is the extent to which technology is being utilized in all disciplines across the grades. Both students and teachers use a variety of technological tools to enhance their teaching-learning experience at AGE. https://code.org/ is one example of students using technology to enhance their problem solving skills. Students are encouraged to do research on the internet for project work. All students from KG through 8th grade have technology integrated into their academic schedule. Students are provided with laptops for the technology period where they are taught to master the skills of using technology efficiently in other periods. For example, in their science fair projects, students from 3rd grade through 8th grade need to do adequate internet-based research to back their topics and use graphical analysis tools to present their ideas visually. Some technological resources used in the classroom and at home by the students are listed as follows:
Science Buddies - for science fair research and background reading
National Sleep Foundation - for projects
BrainPOP/BrainPOP Jr. Websites and application for lessons and quizzes
The following online tools are utilized for in-class queses and homework assignments:
Microsoft Office Applications
Game Based Learning
Jeopardy game website
Staff members selectively keep adding suitable resources to the list above to enhance the learning methodologies and outcomes of the students. Another notable strength is that each and every student is provided with a laptop during the technology period and when technology is required in other periods. Students almost never have to share their devices with fellow students.
In addition to using technology in the STEM disciplines, technology is also integrated into language arts, Social studies, Arabic, Quran and Islamic Studies. The AGE Online Arabic Academy has been created, following the Flipped Classroom model to aid non-Arabic speaking parents with students’ assignments.
What actions are being implemented to sustain the areas of strength?
The school not only emphasizes but mandates the use of technology by students in all disciplines both inside and beyond the classroom. Teachers are evaluated using the Effective Learning Environments Observation Tool (ELEOT) forms provided by AdvancED, which means that they are evaluated based on the effective use of technology by their students both within and outside of the classroom. Majority of the student population of AGE have access to technology at home as well. Additional time is provided in class for students who do not have access to technology at home. AGE will continue to maintain a 1:1 ratio of student versus technology, so that every student is equipped with the necessary capabilities to use a range of technology for their academic work.
What were areas in need of improvement?
SStudents should be able to access more school material online and work from home during after school hours. Software applications and hardware devices need to be up-to-date and readily available for students to use parallely across classes at any given time. AGE can increase mobile instruction and virtual learning by enhancing the school website to meet these requirements.
What plans are being made to improve the areas of need?
AGE plans to create an E-platform for the students and staff to operate on. AGE plans to enhance the technology driven learning aspect by including assignments and projects that require internet research and computer-based analysis. Technology resources must be budgeted for and readily available when needed by students. Budget allocation for technological resources especially in the STEM disciplines will be increased where possible. Virtual learning will be integrated in the AGE website for students to access on the go. Coding is an area that needs to be developed. Accordingly, AGE has put together a proposal to conduct the “Hour of Code” at our school along with experts from the industry. This program will give students the required programming skills that will enable them not only to use edge technology but also to develop technology that helps them achieve and exceed their learning goals and objectives. It will also give them a link to real world challenges faced by industry experts.