Weston Public Schools computer instruction is based on the State of Connecticut Information and Technology Literacy Framework. This curriculum framework is designed to ensure that all students develop the information literacy and technology skills to be productive in the dynamic technological environment of the 21st century. The Connecticut Framework can be accessed at the following web address: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2618&q=320870
Delivery of this curriculum is sequenced based on student developmental readiness at each grade level. All Weston Intermediate students begin their computer instruction with a discussion and review of the district Acceptable Use Policy
Third graders entering the Intermediate School have their first experience as password-based network users. Each student has a unique, password-protected documents folders used to save and manage computer-generated work throughout their time at WIS.
Through the third grade computer curriculum, students gain experience with a variety of software programs, including word processing, multimedia and graphic organizer software. All of these software experiences move our students toward becoming more independent users of technology. The programs are used to generate original student documents and presentations, with teacher direction. In addition, third graders use curriculum-based interactive software to support their learning in other areas.
To build basic Internet search skills, children are introduced to keywords as an on-line search strategy. This introduction to basic information literacy is designed to help young researchers focus on and define their information needs - a key element in the effective navigation of the vast digital information sources of the 21st century.
As their digital information needs become more complex, fourth graders get more in depth instruction in using the Internet as an information source. This is accomplished through a series of collaborative lessons between the LRC and the Computer Lab covering such topics as plagiarism, copyright implications, citation of sources, Internet search strategies and website evaluation. At this grade level, students begin to practice generating online search strategies based on their information needs. Curriculum-driven research projects provide fourth graders with the opportunity to practice these information literacy skills.
Students continue to use productivity software with increased independence. In addition to word processing, multimedia and graphic organizer programs, they gain experience with software designed to create chronological timelines.
The cornerstone of fifth grade computer instruction is a Colonial America webquest completed by students in conjunction with their Social Studies unit on the Colonial Period. The webquest requires students to use a variety of software programs and information literacy skills to complete webquest tasks, thereby synthesizing the technology skills acquired to this point.
By fifth grade, students are generally independent in the use of word processing software and now receive direct instruction on the use of the computer as an editing and revising tool. Curriculum-driven multi-media projects continue with increased independ