Our school is utilizing Google Tools for Education. Google provides us with a free suite of free online services tailored to our specific needs, inluding: email, word processing and spreadsheets, calendars, website development, and more.
Students in grades 5-8 have computers in their language arts classroom, as many of them benefit from using a word processer to create stories. Through Google Docs, students can save work to their personal Google site, and then return to that site from any other internet-accessible computer at a later time. If they find themselves at a friend’s house afterschool, they can still access the writing piece they were working on that morning at school. This eliminates the need to save work to a disc or email documents to yourself so that work can be transferred from one computer to another.
Students are taught the basics of word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations through Google Docs. These skills are put to use when students independently use the computer for various assignments.
The majority of our 7th and 8th grade students use personal netbooks during their language arts block. Other students share one of four classroom computers for their word processing needs.
Research shows that our youngest TLC students need to spend a minimal time, if any at all, with “screen” activities (including television, computers, etc.). Therefore, classrooms with younger students are left intentionally computer-free.