The Easton School Committee unanimously approved a K-5 technology curriculum last week that is designed to integrate into all areas of the classroom.
"Technology shouldn’t be a separate subject area," said Parkview principal Chris Getchell, who helped design the curriculum. "Technology really needs to be a tool teachers use to enhance all curriculum."
Getchell, who was accompanied by district technology facilitator Donna Davey, presented to the Easton School Committee Thursday night. The curriculum itself was organized electronically and is accessible to educators in the district on Google Drive, allowing it to be "interactive," Getchell said.
"It’s more accessible," he said. "We want our curriculum documents to be alive and interacted with frequently -not just on a shelf."
Getchell said each grade's requirements are marked by three overreaching standards that are consistent throughout and build upon each other. Standards include: Ability to demonstrate proficiency in use of computers and understand software; Essential understandings of ethics and safety; and Research, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and innovation.
He acknowledged that one of the most important factors in successfully implementing the curriculum is to be sure teachers understand it. Grades K-5 teachers plan to dedicate the entire day on Election Day (Nov. 6) participating in professional development geared towards technology.
"Teachers need support with this and they need professional development. This plan will go nowhere if it just sits on their laptop," he said. "They need to be supported."
"What we’re also giving them, which is really exciting, is time to explore," he added, noting that "exploring" technology is integral in learning its functions.
The technology curriculum coincides with the districts "Technology Advisory Group," which helps determine which equipment will be added to Easton schools. "TAG" also works with the Foundation for Education Excellence (FEEE) in targeting technology funding.
School Committee Chair Jane Martin said this year will be an "implementation year" and the curriculum will be in full effect beginning in the '13-'14 school year.
"It’s this kind of work that helps move our district forward," she said.