COLUMBIA CITY — With the realm of technology playing a vital role in education, Whitley County Consolidated School Corporation teachers and administrators have developed a curriculum based on the National Education Technology Standards (NETS).
“These standards were developed by the International Society for Technology in Education and they teach students to become proficient in problem solving, critical thinking and creativity through the use of technology,” said Indian Middle Springs School Principal Jan Boylen.
According to Boylen, in the Whitley County Consolidated Schools, elementary students learn basic knowledge about the computer as they focus on keyboarding skills.
“Since the state test is computerized, our students need to be proficient in keyboarding at a young age,” said Boylen. “In addition to basic computer skills, students apply this knowledge by composing short stories on the computer, using graphic organizers and creating simple presentations. The teachers, counselor and media assistants work with students to help them understand what is appropriate to share online and how to deal with cyberbullying.”
At the middle school level, Boylen said students rotate through a computer literacy class to learn additional and advanced computer programs and skills.
“When the students are in their core classes, these skills are then used at the application level to integrate their technology skills with their content area skills,” said Boylen. “Many high-level technology skills are taught in the web-page design class, project-based units, industrial arts and Gateway to Technology classes. The counselors and teachers continue to reinforce how to evaluate internet sites and how to use good netiquette (internet etiquette).”
At the high school level, Boyen said students are immersed in a digital environment at both Eagle Tech and Columbia City High School as advanced computer literacy skills are taught in classes such as business, fine arts and core subjects.
”Students utilize these technology skills in real life applications in their daily class work and their collaboration with teachers and other students,” said Boylen. “For example, students in science may learn about their subject matter using an ocean movement simulator. In fine arts, students learn how to use 3-D animation in the same way it is used in real world business. Accounting students use a program called Access to manipulate data in order to make financial decisions based on real-life problems.”