Technology is an integral part of everyday life. The fast changing landscape of the digital age will require today’s student to have a different set of skills than what was required just a decade ago. Maclay graduates must be equipped with not just academic content and skills, but also with 21st-century skills of problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and technological literacy. Students will need to be able to quickly find, synthesize and communicate information, as well as, collaborate with colleagues– not just in their own proximity, but within a global community. The ultimate goal of the Maclay Lower School Technology and Computer Science program is to lay the foundation for the development of critical computational thinkers and responsible digital citizens that will be well prepared for success in the modern digital world.
Drawing from best-practice standards developed by the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) technology tools are integrated into classrooms in ways that augment teaching and learning, enhance student engagement, individualize instruction, and provide opportunities to reach beyond classroom walls. We strive to create a culture of responsible use and a continuous awareness of the positive (or negative) role technology can play in our lives.
In addition to the integration of technology use in core academic classes, beginning in Kindergarten and continuing through Fifth Grade, students participate in a Fundamentals of Computer Science program. Lower School students learn to use computers effectively, be productive digital citizens, and incorporate algorithmic thinking into their problem-solving methodology. The Maclay Lower School Computer Science program is designed to provide opportunities for the students to develop their computational thinking and digital literacy skills by utilizing a variety of media to solve problems and communicate their process. Focus areas to enhance the students computational thinking, digital literacy, and citizenship include:
- Learning to access and exchange information
- Compiling, organizing, analyzing, and synthesizing information
- Drawing conclusions and making generalizations from information gathered
- Becoming self-directed learners
- Collaborating and cooperating in team tasks
- Analyzing a problem and developing a repeatable algorithmic solution
- Interacting with others using computers in ethical and appropriate ways