Technology Overview in the Lower School

Monday of this week our 3rd-6th grade students participated in two activities courtesy of SAS Inc. Sixteen volunteers from SAS led students through two activities: one that included a focus on data analysis while the other involved the use of Sphero balls for basic coding. In conjunction with these activities, I will use November to highlight different aspects of technology use at Trinity.

Technology can be a conflicting and dividing topic among families and educators, alike. Too often it seems that we adhere to one of two extremes: technology is evil or technology is the ultimate resource. Trinity’s approach to technology falls in between the two extremes: yes, it is a useful tool, but it is important to remember that it is a means to an end. As such, foundational skills are needed that transfer between different instruments. Just as a carpenter has a varied understanding of construction beyond a single tool, students need to be proficient in the fundamentals in order to benefit fully from the technology tools available to them.

When technology is used to enhance learning, it can be an excellent tool in the classroom.  The danger lies in allowing technology to control content. Frequently in my conversations with educators from other schools, I discern that technology has moved into the driver’s seat.  They excitedly adopt a new trend in technology and ask, “How can I use this in my classroom?” At Trinity, we ask “What am I teaching and what tools can help me teach it most effectively?” If a technology tool will enhance learning of the topic then we often find ways to incorporate it. We are careful to avoid the subtle shift in focus from the content/skill to the tool.

When you consider the rapid pace of change and development in technology, once our Lower School students enter the workforce, they will very likely use technology that is unimagineable today. In Trinity’s Lower School, instead of having students learn and become proficient on specific technology, we purposefully prepare them to excel in any area by providing them with skills that transfer across technological devices.

Some of these transferrable skills include:

  • Presentation skills that work just as well in a virtual setting as in a physical meeting
  • Memory skills and a variety of memorized works to allow for eloquence and beauty with written and spoken word
  • Foundation for basic logic and reasoning (specific logic classes start in 8th grade)
  • Grammar, allowing for excellent writing in addition to an awareness of the importance of detail
  • Engagement with the broader picture (truth, goodness, & beauty)
  • Latin, a foundation for future language acquisition

In addition to understanding and using technology appropriately, a Trinity graduate can defend their views persuasively, analyze and reason through the arguments and opinions of others, and persevere through times of challenge.

I invite you to join us in the NEW Innovation Lab (iLab) on Wednesday, November 8th after you drop off your student! Trinity staff will be available to demonstrate the intentionality behind the design of the space and how it will continue to prepare our students to transform tomorrow!

Mark Your Calendar

  • Wednesday, November 8thiLab Open House (7:30AM – 8:30 AM)
  • Friday, November 10th – Veterans Day Assembly (sign up here if you want to participate)
  • Monday, November 20thFriday, November 24thNo school- Thanksgiving Break
  • Friday, December 1st – Lower School Basketball Spirit Night (5:10-7:00 PM; details coming in future weekly email)

 

Matthew Breazeale
Lower School Head
Trinity Academy