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Elementary EdTech Parent Handbook Statement

2015-16

Philosophy

We believe that digital technology is a powerful tool that can be leveraged for learning. It allows us to communicate, create and collaborate authentically with others around the globe. We strive to foster international mindedness, promote a growth mindset and spark innovative thinking in our community.

At NIST, our mandate is to ensure students acquire the specific skills and dispositions to operate safely and responsibly within the rapidly changing digital world.

Therefore, in the Elementary PYP programme:

Our community agrees to this Empowered Use Agreement.

Grounding Practice in Research

Sometimes a misconception circulates that students are at significant risk when they have access to digital technology. As an inquiry-based school, we believe in the importance of grounding our practice in measured decisions underpinned by current research.

At NIST the best interests of our learners are our highest priority. We are also very serious about keeping our children safe. Online “stranger danger” is a legitimate concern and something we take seriously as a health and safety issue. In our approach to this issue we are also conscious of the research that has been done in the field, and we are aware that the probability of our students being targeted by online predators is relatively low according to the findings. Therefore, while we are very conscious of the risks, we are also mindful of the existing data regarding student access to the outside world and exposure to possible online risks. We are confident that our moderated and modeled environment at NIST provides a safe and well-designed digital learning space for learners.

For more information, please contact the Head of Elementary.

Resources

In an effort to include technology within the curricula, schools have traditionally built computer labs that remain separate from other learning that occurs on a daily basis. At NIST, we believe that technology should be woven into all learning. From the early years to high school, students use a wide range of devices and media to create, collaborate and communicate.

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 1 to Year 6, and students use these devices throughout the day to supplement teacher instruction. Elementary students have access to both Apple and Microsoft laptops and desktops. Beginning in Year 7, all students are issued MacBook Air laptops.

To encourage students to creatively use the tools and resources we offer, other opportunities are provided through extra-curricular activities and learning spaces. Both the elementary and secondary students produce news programmes using the green screen room, others explore robotics and coding, and all young learners can experiment with design thinking in the Makerspace.