At Hannah Gibbons, I explored the implementation of technology throughout the school. This school is a S.T.E.M. school, and because of this, technology is implemented in a majority of what is done in the classroom. Here’s what I found!
Hannah Gibbons doesn’t have any one specific person in charge of technology in the building. But, Mr. Kitson is the one that teachers come to if they are having an issue with technology and he is the curriculum technology specialist. If he can’t fix a technological problem, then teachers or students have to submit a help ticket into the Department of Informational Technology where they will send a field tech out to resolve the issue.
Hannah Gibbons has iPads, HP laptops, Dell laptops, Dell desktops, and Bytespeed laptops accessible. In each classroom they have on average six desktops (K-4) and for grades 5-8 they have on average four desktops (According to Mr. Kitson). Also, each classroom has a Smart Board and each teacher has a desktop for their use. The school also as a computer lab with 30 available, and working desktop computers. This allows for plenty of opportunities for students to use technology!
What is cool about Hannah Gibbons, is that children have a lot of freedom and access to sign out and borrow technology. For example, they can fill out an online or paper slip, and that allows them to have the chance to borrow a piece of technology. Also, if they know they will need to borrow something in advance, they have the option to reserve devices online or in Mr. Kitson’s room. However, there is nothing required to be purchased by the families of students’, just an email is required for access to “Class Dojo”.
In regards to the firewall at Hannah Gibbons, there is not really much to tell. The students are blocked from sites such as YouTube, and other sites they may google such as Netflix. However, the teachers have a different username which allows them to access sites that were blocked by the firewall.
While observing, I get to experience the use of technology in the classroom firsthand. To start every day, the “PATH” kid of the day reads the 5 P’s which talk about being prompt, prepared, peaceful, etc. This is done on a smart board. After that, Mrs. Williams normally uses her ELMO to project worksheets and examples on the board for the students to reference while in their 90 minute literacy block. Once the students are done with their work, they are asked to grab an iPad and either work on Moby Max, which as I mentioned before is an online assessment, or, they are asked to go on Epic, which is a place they can read online books. If all of the iPads are taken, the class has a set of 6 desktop computers that they may use.
Overall, I would say the students enjoy the use of technology in their classroom. They are excited to do activities such as Moby Max and Epic. This gives them a chance to switch up the typical learning styles they are used too, which is refreshing and enjoyable. I am excited to dig further deep into the use of technology that is not only integrated in Mrs. Williams’ 1st grade classroom, but in the school as a whole!