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Summit’s Hands-On Technology

At Summit Academy, we’re transforming the learning environment. By training our teachers to incorporate innovative technologies into the classroom we will create a 21st century learning community that enables students to engage with, and produce, content in expansive ways. And we’re committed to keeping our methods hands-on. 

            The first step towards getting every student hands-on experience with technology is to increase access, which is why this year Summit has added hundreds of iPads to our already robust fleet of technology. Students have the opportunity to utilize exciting, professional-grade software such as Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Garage Band and iMovie to generate personalized content. Students learn how to build websites, manage data, record podcasts and create multi-media presentations, making classwork and homework more engaging. The abstract concepts of math are made tangible with Grapher, a program that illustrates 2-D and 3-D equations. Classroom libraries have been expanded with a collection of digital audio books. Our interactive whiteboards allow students working in groups to more efficiently brainstorm and take notes. And through web cameras and other digital media, a class can take a virtual field trip to a faraway place – suddenly the rainforest comes alive and the concepts of a canopy and biodiversity make perfect sense.  

            Of course, our commitment to hands-on technology requires that students have adequate in-class time for hands-on activities. To that end, a number of Summit’s teachers are implementing the philosophy of the "flipped classroom” -- posting lessons for students to view outside of class via Moodle, our learning management system. Students then come to class ready to apply what they’ve learned from the lesson. To assist with communication and organization between home and school, Summit uses a platform called PowerSchool, which is available to students and parents for tracking assignments and grades.

            Unlike salsa for chips, Summit doesn’t serve technology on the side. Instead, it’s integrated into the curriculum, as when a chip is dipped. (Yum!) Through hands-on experience, students develop an understanding of systems and operations, which enables them to see technology and its functions in a big-picture way. Across academic disciplines students are taught to use critical thinking skills while researching, and to employ proper ethical behavior when online. Summit’s integration of technology into our curriculum keeps pace with challenging state and national standards. Using the tools available to them in and out of the classroom, Summit students generate high-quality work and present it using up-to-date techniques. 

            We don’t merely "teach tech,” we empower our students to use technology in ways that work for them. And with Summit’s 100% college acceptance rate to uphold, we intend to keep hands-on technology a top priority. 

 

Sources:

Educational Technology Plan 2012-2015, Summit Academy North

Bergmann, Jonathan and Sams, Aaron.  Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. Washington, DC: International Society for Technology in Education, 2012.  Print.

 



 
   
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