Technology Enhances Innovation and Creativity at Duke School

Technology use at Duke School is always done in the most active and creative ways possible. We are aware that our students have access to a variety of technology at home including both interactive and passive media. Because of this we maximize our students’ face-to-face time with their peers and teachers while at Duke School.
Technology use is an integral part of the curriculum, student project work, and representation. Students use a variety of technology tools at Duke School. These tools range from desktops, laptops, and iPads to 3D printing, programming, physical computing, and robotics. We are constantly exploring and updating our technology so that students always have the best tools available for any given project.
Students at all levels learn how to create with technology. An emphasis is always put on using the best tool for the representation. We also encourage students to create their own images, photos, and text for use in their projects. Students at lower grades co-create with their teachers, while students at upper grades learn how to create on their own and in groups. Creativity, collaboration, and sharing are always encouraged.
The interactivity of technology media is used at all levels to help students extend their learning. Students have access to a wide range of information available online. Teachers use technology in many ways to enhance classroom learning. Virtual fieldtrips, video conferencing, and using technology to differentiate new content and skills are commonly seen in a Duke School classroom. Digital citizenship is taught within the curriculum as students are learning. Our social curriculum extends to the online world as students are taught how to be caring and ethical citizens.
Students learn that technology is a great tool to document their learning and experiences. iPads and cameras are commonly taken on field work to record visual and audio notes that can be used back in the classroom. Students at the middle school have access to Google Apps and create an online resource and record of their learning while at Duke School.
Many student created representations for project work include a technology component. These amazing products are then shared with the Duke School community on our intranet DragonConnect. Parents, teachers, and students are able to watch movies and presentations, read student created eBooks, and more. In this way, the community is able to celebrate the learning and experiences of our students.

In 2013, Duke School implemented its first Maker program. Kids & Books editor Kathy Steward visited Duke School and interviewed Elaine Cameron, Middle School media specialist about the program. Check out the article, "Makerspaces Make Sense," originally published in the March 2014 issue of Kids & Books!