TLC is at its heart an outdoor and experiential education school that values social and emotional learning. While there is no denying the presence and impact of technology in our students’ lives, we take a gradual and intentional approach to the use of technology in the classroom. Technology is not going anywhere and is ubiquitous in education and the workplace. For this reason, we believe that students should graduate TLC as critical thinkers with the 21st century skills required to be fluent and safe in the modern, tech-rich world. However, at TLC we believe that technology should be introduced to students mindfully and with an emphasis on digital citizenship.
In the primary grades (K-3), the students’ days are filled with nature exploration, team building, and hands-on learning. It is important for students of this age to move, play, and learn in an environment free of screen-time. This is an age where students are learning how to learn and how to navigate friendships, teacher-student relationships, and other school dynamics in the real world and we believe this is best done without the distraction of personal interaction with the virtual world. Technology will be utilized by primary students who require academic accommodations.
Formal technology instruction begins in the 4th grade with weekly ‘tech talks’ and structured typing instruction. In the 4/5 classroom, technology is gradually integrated into academic blocks with supervised and targeted lessons/projects that teach and use research, word processing, and media creation skills.
In middle school, students will begin to use technology more regularly and independently to complete assignments, conduct research, send emails, save documents, and create projects. We encourage students to be producers, rather than just consumers, of the digital world. Students in middle school continue to learn about digital citizenship, explore the ways technology is impacting society, and learn to make smart personal choices in regard to social media and technology. We support and encourage the Wait Until 8th pledge.
At TLC we believe that human connection is key to a meaningful education; learning is cooperative. Therefore, TLC’s goal is to provide students with the skills needed to be successful in the digital world without sacrificing exemplary inquiry-based, experiential, and social-emotional education.