OLF Elementary places high priority in integrating technology into our curriculum.
Keyboarding is an essential computer literacy skill
OLF Elementary supports and encourages keyboarding as a key computer technology core subject with formal keyboarding instruction beginning in the 3rd grade. Our goal is for all students to key by touch using correct technique and meet end of level benchmarks when they leave elementary school. To meet this goal, keyboarding components are taught as early as kindergarten. Skill is assessed and progress tracked toward achieving benchmark scores. Ms Celeste Lousteau leads our technology department.
Scratch Programming Class for 3rd through 6th Grade
OLF Elementary now offers a visual programming course to its curriculum for third through sixth grades. While in-person coding programs for kids are quickly gaining popularity across the country, OLF has taken initiative to offer a fun, innovative course for students. What used to be a 10-week, once-a-week hour-long afterschool introductory programming course is now a once-a-week, hour-long in-depth course that focuses on improving each child’s conceptual development skills, software and hardware skills, as well as soft skills.
Sandy Davis, OLF’s programming course instructor and software/mobile applications developer, truly believes in the power of Scratch. “From a developer’s perspective, Scratch is a great way of introducing students to the programming world,” said Davis. “Students are able to visually see the blocks and understand what each block is meant for, since Scratch utilizes color-coded blocks (motion, control, events, etc.). Scratch also helps students develop problem-solving skills; by coming up with their own ideas in their Design Journals, they are able to determine how to build their project from start to finish in Scratch.” Sun Herald feature article on OLF Scratch class
Google Chromebooks in the Computer Lab
In the summer of 2014, OLF Elementary redesigned its technology lab to include the acquisition of twenty-five new Chromebooks for the students. Leadership at OLF wanted to move to “more of a cloud-based computing platform” that would deliver applications and provide a “21st century learning environment that would allow creative thinking, collaboration and communication” among students while giving them “access to whatever it is they need.”
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