Supporting 21st Century Learners
Whether using iPads, laptops, robots, or simple cardboard and tape, lower school boys have the tools they need to keep learning relevant, ongoing, and fun.
Technology in the Lower School
Our goal is to use technology, and specifically iPads, as a tool for learning, creating, curating, and exploring.
Our technology program includes:
- Laptop carts with Chromebooks for classroom use
- Simple robotic and coding equipment in our MakerLab
- MakerSpace for hands-on creation and innovation
Boys learn design-based thinking and how to use empathy, perseverance, and critical thinking to solve a variety of problems. During clubs, morning drop-in times, and specific classes, the boys enjoy the freedom of seeing their ideas take shape in the MakerSpace or MakerLab. However, at Gilman Lower School “maker” is more idea than physical space. Making can happen on the playground, in the music room, or in any of the many classrooms and hallways of our building. The desire to engage in a little healthy competition, wanting to help others, or just being curious are all motivators for young lower school makers.
96 Bins of makerspace stuff
Teaching digital citizenship and Internet safety are part of the curriculum and is learned through homeroom discussions and guidance counselor presentations. It is our mission to educate the boys to be men of character, and character includes their presence online.
IPADS FOR ALL
In the hands of young boys, an iPad is part video camera, part sketchbook, part binder, part recorder.
Each student in grades Kindergarten through grade five has the use of an assigned, in-school iPad. Fifth grade boys take their assigned iPads home during the week, allowing them to collaborate with peers and communicate with teachers after the school day ends.
Students, guided by creative teachers, enhance learning by using technology to access and evaluate information and to create projects that demonstrate learning. First grade boys might use an app to brainstorm ideas and sequence their thoughts before tackling a lengthy writing assignment about the pioneer journey, while third grade boys could use a green screen to capture images they created to represent the journey of Lewis and Clark in an interactive video journal.
In all three school divisions, our makerspaces, as well as our design and woodworking (D&W) classrooms, promote design thinking and foster the critical elements of creativity, including flexibility, decision-making, self-expression, collaboration, motivation, and movement.
The adaptable skills learned in these innovative learning spaces add to each boy's arsenal of traits that transform boys of promise into men of character, who possess the ability to make positive contributions to the communities in which they live and work.