Here in North Merrick, technology is used to enhance and extend learning in a technology-rich curriculum that facilitates student understanding. Students rely on technology in their quest to access, gather, and assess information and ideas as they create, synthesize and apply knowledge. Student application of technology skills allows them to demonstrate understanding of concepts, ranging from the simple to the complex. As students gain a keen understanding of how to use a variety of hardware devices, software and online resources, problem-solving skills are sharpened and strongly developed. Strategies for ensuring online safety are taught and reinforced. North Merrick provides a range of learning activities that can be accessed from home as well as school and takes advantage of increased connections to the world outside the district.
The tools for technology integration are pervasive in district classrooms, computer labs and libraries. Desktop computers, laptop carts, and Smart boards are examples of the hardware to which students are exposed on a daily basis. Project-based and just-in-time learning opportunities are developed to facilitate the development of skills in keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheet formation, collaboration, research, and presentation.
During the 2017-18 school year, the district introduced the Nureva Span System in the hallway of each of our elementary schools. These multi-touch displays come with cloud-based software that can be used on any device, anywhere, and any time. The software transforms walls into fully interactive, collaborative surfaces that supports multiple points of touch. Up to 20 students at a time can be at the wall, brainstorming and creating. Real-time collaboration is possible, both in-room and across distances.
In addition, the district stepped into designing flexible and interactive learning spaces in our computer labs and libraries, beginning with the transformation of the computer lab at Harold D. Fayette Elementary School, Camp Avenue School Library, and access to a 3-D printer at Old Mill Road School. Each year we will rotate these efforts so that in three years all three schools will have renovated computer labs, libraries and makerspaces. During the 2018-19 school year, students are experiencing the benefits of a newly furbished computer lab at the Old Mill Road School and new flexible furniture in the H. D. Fayette Library.
Christine A. Talbot
Supervisor of Instructional Technology, Library Media, and Data Reporting