We recognize four strands in our computer literacy program: first, computer as tutor – through software or online courses students use technology to learn subject content; second, computer as tutee – beginning with the Logo computer language, students learn to program the computer; third, as tool – here students learn a wide variety of software applications that can be applied to personal productivity; third computer as tool for enriched social interaction, and fourth computer to run simulation games that teach content knowledge.
We also teach students internet propriety and safety issues. Students need to be able to recognize and utilize relevant and reputable sources while avoiding sites that could pose harm to themselves, others or the hardware they are using. Due to the rise of bullying issues on the internet, we also teach students to be respectful online citizens.
Beginning in the primary grades, students learn keyboarding skills including typing skills and the general use of word processing software. In the elementary and middle grades, students use spreadsheets, databases, graphics, and design software.
In addition, with the advent of online coursework and web-based learning centers, the options for learning through the internet have become endless. With help of the internet, we teach children how to get remedial help or how to locate accelerated content. It has greatly enhanced our ability to meet individual academic needs.
Also through the internet, we recognize that options for research are considerable. While understanding that not all activity on the internet is constructive, we point children to some of the exceptional sources now made available to every classroom through government, universities, and on-line libraries. We make our students educated users so that they can take advantage of the primary and secondary resources now available through web searches.
Finally, we teach children basic programming skills. In the primary and elementary grades, they learn how to program in Logo, a programming language developed at MIT, useful to children of all ages. In the middle school grades, we provide high school coursework via online courses.