||Wilmington Montessori School is committed to preparing our students to be lifelong learners and leaders by providing them with the freedom, skills and confidence they need to succeed in their next educational steps and careers. Integrated technology in the classroom allows these students to explore, think critically, create, communicate, collaborate and so much more.
The second initiative of WMS's 2013-16 Strategic Plan reflects our commitment to "advancing and sustaining WMS as a premier and forward-thinking Montessori school." Enhancements to the school's technology and STEAM curricula are key goals for within this initiative. With this in mind, months have been spent developing a technology plan that not only reflects current thinking about technology in education but also honors our Montessori environment and philosophy. We are pleased to announce that implementation of the plan has begun.
2013-14 School Year
The process of updating laptops and cameras began, providing our staff and students with the tools needed to smoothly integrate technology into their daily work. In January, the students in the 9-12 program created storyboards and filmed short movies using our new HD video cameras that shared their vision of the future of technology in schools. These videos were submitted as part of the White House's first student film festival. In spring 2014, lead and specials teachers were given iPads to explore and begin to use in their classrooms.
Teachers attended professional development programs to educate and inspire them to find new ways of using iPads in their classrooms. Instructional Technology Coach Rose Feehan offered training and prepared the school's infrastructure for the fall's technological enhancements. This work included the replacement of school servers, new projectors with Apple TV, updates to the school's wireless network and preparation of student iPads.
Each 9-12 (4th-6th grade) student received his or her own iPad to use at school and at home. There are additional iPads available for student use in other elementary classrooms. iPads are not used as a substitute for hands-on Montessori materials; instead, they enhance lessons, help with research, and inspire creativity and new ways of communicating. Instructional Technology Coach Rose Feehan continues to support and train teachers as they explore the best ways to integrate technology in the classrooms.
Our teachers are excited about finding new ways to enrich each child's experience and share their world with parents throughout the day using new technology. Stay tuned for more technology news as we move into the second year of our strategic plan.