Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time.
– Bill Gates
NIST uses technology as a tool to achieve our mission. We seek to be innovative through our use of progressive technology in our search to make student learning relevant to their world. Our aim is to develop responsible global citizens equipped with the critical thinking skills and technological literacy necessary to participate in the worldwide community of learners.
The following guiding principles are intended to help us realize our vision:
- The integration of technology into our daily practices enhances teaching and learning.
- Our use of technology provides safe and engaging opportunities for students to communicate with the worldwide community of learners.
- Ubiquitous access to technology is essential to effective 21st-century learning.
- Thorough research, related to future trends and best practices, guides the acquisition, use and development of technology resources.
- We value diversity and choice. We apply differentiation in the use of technology.
- Technology expectations for students and staff are supported by curricula and ongoing staff development.
Technology in the Classroom
In the early years classes, shared iPads are provided for student use under the guidance of the teachers, building a foundation in collaboration and sharing. This extends into a 1-to-1 iPad programme in Year 2 to Year 6, and students use these devices throughout the day to supplement teacher instruction. Beginning in Year 7, all students are issued MacBook Air laptops.
Students are issued passwords that allow them access to an immense number of online resources, ranging from EBSCOHost, the premiere online research database, to Cialfo, a career and college counselling program. All student information–including attendance, class content, grades and much more–is easily accessible to both parents and students through Veracross.
To encourage students to creatively use the tools and resources we offer, other opportunities are provided through extra-curricular activities and learning spaces. Both our elementary and secondary students produce their own news programmes using our green screen room, others explore robotics through ClickRobot, and all young learners can experiment in our design labs and our Makerspace.
We believe that technology is a powerful tool, one that allows us to connect with others around the globe. It has also taken on its own life, and it is impossible to ban the future. Policies based in negative consequences and restrictions only serve to isolate and insulate students from a daily part of their lives. Building on the work of Dr. Scott McLeod, our philosophy takes a positive view, one that encourages students to learn to use it creatively, effectively and responsibly through four key principles:
Do awesome things. Share with us your ideas and what you can do. Amaze us.
Help foster a school community that is principled and caring.
Be smart and safe.
Think before you click. If you are uncertain, talk with us.
Be careful and gentle.
Our resources and those in other communities are limited. Help us take care of our devices and networks.
NIST has taken a lead in educational technology, frequently serving as an early adopter of innovations ranging from wireless classrooms to Thailand’s first 1-to-1 programme.