Heathwood's approach to instructional technology is grounded in the belief that the right technologies, used appropriately, can be powerful learning tools, and the recognition that technology will be an integral part of our students' personal and professional lives.
For students in grades 1 - 12, we are a 1:1 school, with every student having a dedicated iPad or laptop computer. Our use of technology in the classroom is carefully and thoughtfully calibrated so as to be age-appropriate and pedagogically useful, with an emphasis on hands-on learning.
Heathwood is also committed to helping students develop into good digital citizens, who possess the skills and the ethics to navigate online communities just as they would in-person.
- Lower School
Integrating technology into the Lower School classroom is a delicate balance that Heathwood thoughtfully seeks to achieve. We value the importance of students’ hands-on work, learning-by-doing, and active play. We also know that technology is an integral part of all of our lives and holds tremendous possibilities for student learning. Keeping these two notions at the forefront of how we approach instruction helps us achieve a balance that serves our students well and in age-appropriate ways.
In our Lower School we have developed robust classrooms for interactive and engaging learning through the use of technology. Our students in grades 1 – 4 participate in a 1:1 iPad program, teachers have access to interactive instructional tools and web services, and the classrooms have shared devices that promote hands-on learning with the personalization that technology can offer. Our experience with the 1;1 program is an example of how we thoughtfully integrate technology tools. We began the Lower School 1:1 iPad program in 2019 in our 3rd and 4th grade classrooms when our faculty had identified the value the program would offer to their students. Meanwhile we provided class sets of shared iPads for students in Grades K-2 so teachers and students could take advantage of them when appropriate. As we developed our program and reflected on the effective and age-appropriate practices, we extended the 1:1 iPad to the 1st and 2nd grades, knowing that our students and teachers are ready to effectively use them in meaningful ways on a regular basis.
- Middle School
The Middle School has a one-to-one (1:1) iPad program with every student in grades 5 through 8 using an iPad in their classes for assignments, projects, and homework. Students use their iPads for a varied list of activities, including working collaboratively with teachers and classmates on documents and essays, interacting with mathematical equations and graphs, creating movies and presentations, and using the iPads in conjunction with their Logitech Crayon to take notes and highlight e-texts. By bringing iPads into the classroom, every student is given access to the limitless resources of the Internet and can benefit from using these technologies as they learn and grow during these formative years. With these resources -- and guided by their teachers -- our students are learning the content of our curriculum while developing 21st-century skills including critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and technology literacy.
The Middle School has been a 1:1 iPad school and a Google for Education school for over seven years now. During that time, students and teachers have developed their skills, their curriculum, and their confidence in ways that have allowed the iPad to become a difference-maker for teaching and learning. We have built the infrastructure and invested in the accompanying tools that maximize the iPads' effectiveness in our classrooms. We have covered the technical details, like building reliable wireless networking and giving students and teachers the ability to project their iPads wirelessly in the classroom. We have identified and encouraged the use of "evergreen" apps--apps we can use across all grade levels and classes--so that the students become highly capable with the tools used for note-taking, content creation, student and teacher collaboration, and classroom management. We have provided ongoing professional development for our faculty on how to meaningfully integrate the iPad into their classrooms. We have adopted the Google ecosystem to enable ease of access for content creation and data storage while providing the best platform for collaboration between our students and collaboration between our students and their teachers. And, this year, we provided each student with an advanced stylus, the Logitech Crayon, enabling high-quality handwriting to increase the possibilities for student note-taking and content creation. This ongoing effort to invest in our students and faculty while providing ongoing professional development has allowed our program to mature to a point where we cannot imagine our classrooms without these powerful devices.
- Upper School
The integration of technology into the classroom has been a process over 30 years in the making at Heathwood Hall. Heathwood Hall has been a leader in instructional technology for many years with their leadership rooted in the goal of finding meaningful ways to integrate technology into the academic experience of the student to enhance the instruction and learning in our classrooms and, at the Upper School division, introduce students to technological fields of study from computer programing to graphic arts.
Eight years ago we introduced 1:1 Laptop program to the Upper School. Having a long tradition of working with faculty to enhance their instruction and student coursework with technology, the time was right to move to each student having their own device. But, a 1:1 program is much more than just a personal computer, we have built a rich teaching and learning ecosystem that includes the online services, resources, and the professional development that allow our students and faculty to unlock the richness that a 1:1 laptop program makes possible. This ecosystem opens new possibilities for the classroom while allowing teachers to foster the development of 21st Century Skills with our students: collaboration, creativity, information and media literacy, to name a few.
Heathwood Hall Episcopal School believes in the importance of helping our students and faculty to be engaged, ethical, and productive digital citizens. Digital citizenship involves positive behaviors that make for healthy interactions online and offline in addition to an awareness of how online experiences are different from offline experiences. These differences require us to work with our students to understand what digital citizenship means and how to be good citizens in a complicated world of the Internet, social media, text messaging, etc. We must develop behaviors that make our online experiences authentic and respectful, while also protecting ourselves from the always-connected, unforgetting, and often anonymous world of the Internet.
In order to help our students navigate the online world they face daily we have identified seven keys to Digital Citizenship.
- Be present.
- Be real.
- Manners matter.
- There is no delete.
- Nothing is private.
- Protect yourself.
- Credit others.
A student who is mindful of these seven keys in their his/her life will develop habits and behaviors of a good digital citizen. They will use the powerful digital tools for good, and they will protect themselves from the dangers that are present.
*These seven keys to digital citizenship were developed by, and have been used with the permission of, Providence Day School