The technology program at Saddle River Day School supports our mission: “To inspire each child to achieve personal and academic excellence and to become a caring and ethical contributor to society”. Student outcomes and experiences are at the core of our decisions regarding purchases and implementing new software and hardware. Learning doesn't rely on technology at SRDS; it is just one tool that can be used and integrated in the established curriculum. We are careful to ask the question - "Does this (tech tool whether it be an iPad or specific program) help the student learn?" as we integrate technology and computer skills into core lessons across the curriculum in all divisions.
Although technology is just one tool that is integrated into the curriculum, it can be powerful and support academic excellence. Laptops, microphones, video cameras, online resources and iPad apps can help teachers differentiate their content delivery methods to reach every student. Students, in turn, have various vehicles to demonstrate their understanding, and are able to choose the most effective ways to show what they know.
Technology at SRDS engages students visually, cognitively, emotionally, socially and ethically in facets of the academic context. The technology program empowers students by giving them professional tools to use, as well as leadership and creative opportunities such as producing and broadcasting their own news shows across campus and organizing tech demonstrations for parents and students.
Students from K-12th grade practice their digital literacy skills and build their digital fluency through the use of various digital devices. They use these tools to gather, evaluate, organize and apply information they collect. Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using digital resources. They use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively. Students at SRDS also use technology to explore, understand and communicate with communities outside their own.
Whether it is an interactive SMARTboard lesson illustrating a concept in AP Biology, practicing geography skills with a class in another state through a mystery Skype or watching a student’s hieroglyph design become an object printed on a 3D printer, technology can help build connections from textbook to real life and from campus to anywhere in the world. In this way, technology also supports the idea of becoming caring and ethical contributors to society. Students and teachers may choose to use Google Tools to collaborate with each other and organize community service events or use video to capture and communicate what is important in their lives. The technology program at SRDS relies on students, teachers and curriculum to guide growth and integration.
We have established a student technology committee comprised of student representatives from Grades 6 – 12, Rebels 404, who will meet with the technology directors regularly and begin to shape the future of technology at SRDS. Ideas borne from this committee’s research will contribute to the overall Strategic Plan. Students will also sit on the Strategic Planning Committee and weigh in on decisions about BYOD, preferred platform, student productivity tools, study spaces on campus, etc.