Sagemont students are being trained on laptop note taking, learning the ins and outs of Microsoft Office, accurate MLA formatting, creating and presenting Power Points, e-mailing and proper email etiquette, keyboarding, caring for their laptops and more. The fifth grade educational team has been working hard to integrate the use of laptops into the curriculum.
Kari Rainone has found the laptops particularly helpful in teaching research and writing skills. “With each child having his or her own laptop, we can show the students how to format papers and they have instant gratification through hearing the instructions, having a visual with my laptop connected to the MIMIO and their own practice as they set up their papers while we lecture.” Ms. Rainone believes the laptops are laying the foundation for collegiate level papers in true MLA format.
Colleague Janelle Kenny is also using the laptops as a teaching tool. “Social studies has been an incredible learning experience this year because the students can click on links within their own computers for virtual field trips or research. When we are discussing a place or historical event, the students are able to get an instant image.”
For example, while teaching the elementary school students about the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C., Ms. Kenny described the beauty of the wall and what it stood for, but could tell her students were having a hard time capturing its essence from her words alone. “Through site navigation on their computers, we were able to take a virtual tour of the memorial. The tour took us to the wall, explained how long it took to construct the memorial, the names on the wall and went into detail about what the symbols next to each name meant,” she explains. “By actually getting a visual of the wall, with a narration to go with it, the students were so much more impacted than they would have been if we just would have read about it.”
Ms. Kenny is planning on utilizing the laptops again when her class studies the American Revolution. “There are several sites that I can visit with the kids to showcase the clothing and give them actual narration of the different types of jobs and what it was like to live during that time. The students can also play a game where they are asked to choose between different scenarios to see how their choices affected the outcome of their lives during the American Revolutionary War.”
Sagemont students also appreciate the opportunity to take part in this hands-on learning. “I like having my laptop every day because if I need to look up something or do computer assignments, I don’t have to wait. Everyone has their own computers,” explains fifth grader Clare Collins.
Many of the children have discovered that using the laptop has made them better students. Taylor Solomon says using a laptop has made her more organized and neater. Keshav Babu finds note taking easier and faster with the laptop. “I’m a slow writer so when the teacher is writing something on the board it is easier to just punch it in.”
Alexandra Kreitenstein has also seen the benefits of laptop use. “It has changed the way I take notes and study because for me typing is faster. I can make more detailed sentences to study from. I can also easily find sources for my reports.”
The teachers are also realizing the advantages. “Revising papers has never been easier,” says fifth grade teacher Erin Eisensmith. “Students can either email their work to us or bring us their laptops and we can open a revision pane and edit their work. This allows the students the freedom to create creative work and then revise it within the document they are working on.”
Integrating technology into student life and the curriculum has always been a key item in this private school’s mission. As technology rapidly advances, The Sagemont School is always in search of new ways to enhance the students’ experience and their preparation for the future.
The Sagemont School offers a college preparatory curriculum and operates two campuses in Weston, Fl. In preschool through the elementary grades, The Sagemont School provides core concepts in a creative environment combined with weekly specials that include science, art, music, Spanish for non-native & native speakers, swimming, PE and media and technology. From middle school through high school graduation, Sagemont students choose from a variety of regular, honors and AP course work. In addition, students share in a networked wireless laptop environment and participate in a comprehensive guidance program for college entrance. Visit The Sagemont School Web site at http://www.sagemont.com/
For more information on The Sagemont School contact Dr. Brent Goldman, President at (954) 389-2454 ext., 305, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.To read more stories about The Sagemont School written by Stacey Bomser go to School News at www.ourcityofweston.com
# # #
The Sagemont School operates two campuses in Weston. The Lower School Campus
serves students in PreK3- Grade 5; the Upper School Campus serves Grade 6 through