Camelot Elementary School in Lewiston, Idaho, was named one of the “100 Most Wired Schools in the Nation” earlier this year by Family PC magazine. With major foundation funding, the school was able to purchase many computers and provide fast internet connections to each classroom.
Camelot School’s use of computers also spurred the state to designate it as one of the state’s 15 computer lab centers, which brought in even more resources. Teachers from across the state use the facility in the summer to study for the state-mandated “technology competency certificate.”
Each student has a web page, on which he or she is expected to post class work and other projects. Students are encouraged to add a new page each month, demonstrating what they have learned in their classes and how they’ve improved their computer skills. Older students help the youngest ones with basic typing and web design.
The school’s technology director and teachers have mapped out an aggressive path of activities that integrate computers into every aspect of the classroom experience, at varying grade levels. These include:
- Kindergarten through second grade: Students obtain basic experience with the keyboard and online drawing tools. They are highly supervised by a teacher.
- First and second grade: Students are first exposed to the internet, and they engage in their first multimedia projects.
- Third and fourth grade: Students try to create multimedia projects of greater sophistication, learn how to conduct research online, and are taught the basics of creating a web page.
- Fifth and sixth grade: Students are expected to design and update full web pages. Teachers also assign two or three major web-based projects during the school year.