Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.
– Maria Montessori
WMS is committed to preparing 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.
- Primary (ages 3-6)
- Lower Elementary (ages 6-9)
- Upper Elementary (ages 9-12)
- Middle School (ages 12-14)
While technology is not part of the daily experience for students at this level, all Primary teachers are assigned an iPad for communication with families and other learning activities (e.g., sharing a video or app related to the curriculum). Kindergartners have opportunities to work with technology more directly during their afternoon enrichment activities.
Any iPad use is teacher-directed and incorporated into the student’s work plan.
Technology goals for students completing the kindergarten year include:
- Demonstrating proper device care when using the class iPad.
- Learning about good digital citizenship through shared use of a class iPad.
- Respecting each other’s digital work and maintaining their own work space within the assigned apps.
- Using the class iPad to complete projects that demonstrate their mastery of a skill or lesson.
- Using the iPad's camera to take pictures that document their learning.
- Using assigned apps to complete projects and recording narrations to explain their work.
In the Lower Elementary (6-9) Program, technology is more visible and increasingly integrated into daily learning activities. A number of student iPads are assigned to each classroom, and students begin to take responsibility for device storage and charging. Students typically use iPads in pairs or small groups to conduct research, document their learning and communicate their knowledge and ideas. At this level, children are challenged to communicate their information clearly, and complete their projects creatively.
Technology goals for students in the 6-9 Program include:
- Demonstrating proper care for classroom iPads by taking responsibility for device storage and charging.
- Learning about and experiencing different creative tools to create presentations, movies, digital posters, music, animation and ebooks.
- Collaborating with peers using digital tools to complete assignments/projects.
- Conducting internet research on a topic to find specific information.
- Presenting information using digital tools.
- Documenting their learning, narrating projects and utilizing digital tools to convey information and tell or retell stories related to their curriculum.
Students in the Upper Elementary (9-12) Program are expected to demonstrate a greater level of independence as they prepare to move on to middle school. Their use of technology reflects this new sense of responsibility as they are each assigned their own iPad for use at school and at home. Beyond simply using technology to complete their school work, students at this level also learn how to safely participate and find their identity in the global community.
Technology goals for students in the 9-12 Program include:
- Demonstrating the ability to keep iPads clean, charged and up-to-date (operating system and application updates).
- Participating in app research and finding apps that apply to their program curriculum and enhance their own learning.
- Continuing the digital citizenship experience that begins in the 6-9 Program through projects such as student blogging, digital collaboration, social media-style posts on Edmodo and class emails. Students spend time focusing on their communication skills, being able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly to their audience.
- Translating skills from one platform to another (using Microsoft Word for some assignments and Google Docs for others). Students' ability and versatility is challenged with more open assignments that allow students to choose what tools best fit their preferred form of expression.
In a technology-driven classroom, students become adept at maneuvering among devices and software. WMS middle-school students will continue to use Google Classroom as the platform for their work. In addition to the technology within the classroom, students learn beginner coding with programs such as Scratch, Alice and Python. Students also learn digital citizenship to guide appropriate and responsible online interactions.
M.S., Instructional Technology Specialist, Saint Joseph's University
Favorite Montessori Moment: My favorite Montessori experience is very routine and happens in every classroom at WMS, but something I had never experienced in any other kind of school. Last year, I had the opportunity to attend Morning Meeting (or "Circle Time") in a toddler classroom on a regular basis. I shared in a time when the class comes together, everyone is greeted, and each individual has a moment to know that he or she is a valued member of the classroom. During circle time, everyone takes a break from lessons to come together as a community. The children and teachers listen to each other, share their lives and know that they are treasured.