This year, I am the Instructional Technology Specialist at both the Haggerty School and the Fletcher Maynard Academy. At both schools, we are very lucky to have “state of the art” technology in our classrooms, library and lab. Read on to learn about some of the ways we use these powerful tools to prepare our students for 21st Century citizenship.

Our Curriculum

Technological advancements have given us many new tools to use in the teaching and learning of the regular curriculum. Here at the FMA, we are very fortunate to have acquired a great variety of tools which we as a staff implement with our students in thoughtful, meaningful ways. Here are some ways in which we do this:

Research-based software: At the FMA and Haggerty, many of our teachers implement research-based skills- building software such as Lexia, Fastt Math (yes, it's spelled with two "t's!"), and Type to Learn. While using this software, our students have highly individualized experiences, as the software adapts to meet their specific needs as learners. Teachers are able to modify the software for each student, monitor their progress, and view reports of their performance.

Productivity software: Starting simply in the early grades, and increasing in intensity in the later grades, our students use programs such as Tux Paint and Google Docs to express their ideas in pictures, writing and presentation formats.

Project Learning: As you can see by looking around, we are decidedly a "Mac" school!  Fortunately, our Macintosh computers include wonderful software to facilitate project learning, such as the "iLife" suite (iMovie, iWeb, Garageband, etc.). Our students find this software to be extremely intuitive, and they are quickly able to create media-rich projects that broaden their understanding of the classroom curriculum.

Information Technologies: The Internet grows more and more ubiquitous every year, and we realize that our students will likely live their entire lives with a world's worth of information in their pocket. At the FMA, our students are learning not only how to access that information, but also how to assess its validity, and how to use information responsibly to develop new understandings of the world around them.

Communication Technologies: Although we cannot allow student email use in the Cambridge Public Schools because of liability and safety concerns, our students are taught how to communicate safely and kindly on the Internet.

Google Drive!

At the Haggerty and FMA, we are lucky enough to be piloting Google Drive in grades 2-5. Our students can now use Google Docs for all of their writing assignments, and can access their work at home, in school, or anywhere in the world by logging into their accounts!

Additionally, they can store all other school-project related files in their Google Drive online storage space.

Classroom Expectations

I have reviewed the CPS Acceptable Use policy with our students, and all have an understanding of the revocable privilege of computer use at our school.  We also have building wide Technology Expectations, which you can review here.

Parental Involvement

I recommend all of the following free computer resources for use in your home!

Code.org Courses: https://studio.code.org/ 

"Hour of Code" activities, searchable by grade level: https://code.org/learn 

Scratch:  http://scratch.mit.edu

Scratch Jr. App, for ages 5-7:  https://www.scratchjr.org/ 

CS Education Week: https://csedweek.org/ 

Common Sense Media: One of my favorite sites for families on the internet, Common Sense Media provides parents with advice and information on the media-rich lives our kids our leading. 

Starfall: a colorful and bright web site with dozens of activities for kids K-3 which foster early literacy skills.