All Technology fees have been waived for the 2020-2021 school year. Upper School students are, however, responsible for providing their own laptops for use at school.
Our strategic plan, MVX, challenges us to provide “access to emerging technology as an interactive tool to collaborate, construct, and/or contextualize learning.” Mount Vernon has developed a school-wide strategy to provide age-appropriate access to technology in the classroom, where we support students as they learn how to engage with online resources, build new content, and utilize technology effectively.
MAKER, DESIGN, AND ENGINEERING
Mount Vernon learners have age-appropriate access to various Maker, Design and Engineering (MDE) technology to be able to design, create, fabricate, prototype and iterate a wide range of products and processes based on the projects they undertake.
DEVICE PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The School intentionally approaches technology integration based on developmental stages and learning opportunities.
With our youngest learners, we foster curiosity through hands-on play. In the earliest years of learning, students’ classroom experiences include minimal screen time, intentionally. Teachers use classroom technology to document demonstrations of learning in addition to creating opportunities for reflection.
We are pleased to share with you an update to our technology hardware to best support students as we reunite as a community. As an additional layer of preparedness, the School has purchased personal iPads for each Lower School student. We prefer to utilize hands-on, multisensory, and experiential learning in Lower School, but we are also realistic about the possibility of students being required to learn virtually this year. When that day comes, we want Lower School students to be confident and independent learners with their school-issued iPad at home. To build that independence, we are utilizing the personal iPads at school with our favorite resources preloaded, and students are practicing their digital skills with the support of the teacher at school. When students are learning virtually, they will take their charged iPads home. We encourage you to have a charger if needed.
We would like to share a few precautionary measures the School has taken to mitigate risks of online learning:
- Students are engaged in lessons to empower them to be responsible digital citizens.
- Each student (K-5) will be required to sign in with their newly issued personal log-in credentials, increasing accountability for the School and the students.
- In grades K-3, iPads will be used for specific teacher-guided lessons with supervision, but not for open searches. In order to accommodate the interactive tools needed for virtual learning, however, a browser/search engine is available to students on the iPad.
Additionally, we want to ask for your support and partnership at home by taking this time to consider how your family approaches your child’s online presence:
- Consider implementing norms around a designated time/location for your children to access screens at home. Many families have a “charging station,” where devices are charged every night, in a public room like the kitchen or living room. Consider keeping screens out of bedrooms, especially before bedtime. Also, consider encouraging your children to ask you for permission before accessing technology, like they do on campus.
- Consider setting parental controls on the devices your child will use. Bark-O-Matic is a service that provides personalized recommendations for your household, based on the devices you own/use.
- Consider having regular, casual conversations with your children about how they interact with technology. For instance, what digital games are they playing? Who do they play with? Can they teach you how to play? Facilitating these types of conversations now not only give you insight into how your child currently spends time online, but it will make it easier to bring up more challenging digital life topics later.
Please help your child remember to return the iPad when coming back to school. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Shelley Searcy, Head of Lower Campus. We appreciate your support in keeping our children safe online.
Our 1:1 iPad program continues in Grades 6-8. Middle School learners use iPads more independently to communicate, collaborate, create, and publish their work. Students continue using the Google Suite for Education, including email (to other Mount Vernon addresses only). Building on the foundations from Lower School, learners use iPads to capture demonstrations of learning, integrate fine arts throughout the curriculum, create new products with value and meaning, and develop core knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Using iPads, students can wander beyond the walls of the School, connect with experts in the field, and access a variety of resources to expand their understanding of the larger world.
In the Upper School, learners use their devices independently as they regularly access the internet for research, use Google Suite apps for assignments and collaboration with peers and teachers, and interact with cloud-based learning tools.
In grades 9-12, the "Bring Your Own" laptop program allows families to purchase a device that is the right fit for their student. Providing flexibility for our families, this customized approach to computing empowers students to select the laptop that best suits his or her needs in and out of the School. This purchase can be made from any store or manufacturer.
Upper School families should consult these guidelines when purchasing a laptop for use at school.