In 3rd & 4th grade, students gradually learn to use more advanced tools as an integrated part of the units they investigate. Classroom sets of iPads and Chromebooks are augmented by built-in projectors that add to a rich learning environment. Starting in 3rd grade, students are assigned “Google Apps for Education” accounts which include both a highly limited email (Gmail) account as well as word processing and file storage tools.
Students in 3rd and 4th grade begin to produce work with the help of technology. Key technology literacies such as file storage, web research, keyboarding, desktop publishing, storyboarding, and other software skills quickly introduced, then reinforced by actually using those skills in projects that relate to a unit of study. Students use green screens to make movies and documentary videos, do journalism, publish books, create book trailers, and even create multimedia presentations about countries they are studying in Spanish class.
Students begin to learn coding skills in 3rd and 4th grade using apps such as Scratch and websites such as code.org. Students are encouraged to spend free time at home learning to code with these tools. Many of the of the “maker” projects they do combine coding skills with tangible objects in the real world such as motorized Legos allowing children to explore ideas such as simple machines.
Students use technology to construct multimedia presentations that incorporate into their units of study.
Students at this level begin to organize and manage their learning and to collaborate with their teachers and peers. For example, they are introduced to email and online file storage.