USN Lower School Technology!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The First Full Week of School!

Classes start for real this week, and USN Lower School students get to their computers after a quick reminder of their responsibilities to use the technology and the hardware responsibly. Our newly revised (down from 629 words long to 194) Technology Responsible Use Policy is pretty clear now, and I'm still inclined to be more specific with the older kids.

There's a new imperative in the Lower School to avoid "whole group instruction," with which I wholly agree, but this particular message is a bit hard to convey in a constructivist manner. That is why I turned to to create a graphical representation of the document for discussion. Here's the wordle I settled on:

Wordle, as you see, is an online service that turns text into tidy and interesting graphic files in which the frequency of the wording is represented by the relative size of the word. In the document above, of course, Technology is the key word. I went back into the site to paste in the former document and this is what I ended up with:

How would you describe the differences in the document, as interpreted by Wordle? This makes for some interesting dialog in the computer lab for the first week of school with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders after some discussion about logging into computers, and it's to my mind much better than lecture. Next week we're onto touch typing with all three of our school's keyboarding platforms.

Kinderkids and 1st graders this week are jumping into's great "MyFirstClicks" lessons for fun mousework. We'll be working with those 25 lessons over the next several weeks, with the hope that we'll nearly complete them before moving on to graphical work with Drawing for Children. Stay tuned!!!

Parents, you have this in your Lower School Parents Handbook, but just for a refresher here is
University School of Nashville’s Technology Responsible Use Policy:

Computers, the Internet, selected software, and other devices are provided for students, faculty, and staff by USN for the express purposes of supporting instruction, enhancing learning, and conducting the business of the school. To this end, those granted user privileges are expected to use these resources only for the educational purposes for which they are intended and to treat these resources and all users with respect.

Additionally, users need to understand these are shared resources, and that access for the school community depends on individuals adhering to community standards.
Failure to follow these guidelines may result in consequences ranging from a warning to dismissal, depending on the severity of the infraction, as determined by administration in each division.

If, as a USN technology user, you have any question or doubt about the acceptability of a specific activity in which you plan to engage, it is your responsibility seek approval from a teacher, an administrator, a division-level technology coordinator, or the Director of Technology in advance. Users of the USN network are bound by all local, state, and federal statutes pertaining to the use of the Internet.

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