Technology that enables...
No matter which college you attend or which career path you plan to enter, technology is a ubiquitous part of life in the 21st century. Learning to harness the power of technology is a major part of the curriculum at the i3 Academy. Thanks to the support of the Half Penny Sales Tax by our community, our scholars each have a MacBook Air that becomes their textbook, research library, notebook, and so much more. As long as our scholars maintain ownership of their Trust Cards they are even able to take these laptops home with them each night. As amazing as these laptops are, they are not the key to success though. The key comes into play as the scholar learns to successfully navigate the wide array of information and tools that they have access to through the laptops. This ability to validate sources, connect with experts, or to choose the best tool for the job, is really what it is all about. The effective use of technology can lead scholars to become better communicators, collaborators, problem solvers, and critical thinkers.
Our scholar laptops come with many preinstalled applications that they will learn to use and love: GarageBand for audio and music editing, iMovie for video editing, iPhoto for image editing, and of course the iWorks suite and Microsoft Office suite for document editing and spreadsheet creation. Along with the laptops, each scholar is also given a Google account, which will give them access to an email address and Google Drive. Scholars learn to professionally handle emails, manage files in the cloud, and to use the many application available through Google Drive: Docs, Spreadsheets, Forms, Drawing, and so much more. The beauty of Google Drive is the seamless way that documents, spreadsheets, forms, etc can be shared between users, accessed from the cloud, and edited by multiple users in real time. In addition to all of this, scholars can also access a Self Service menu from their laptop that allows them to download additionally available software to personalize their options: Photoshop, Python, ComicLife, etc. A scholar's successful use of these tools to help them gain meaning from their learning and work toward mastering the standards is what 21st century learning is all about.
Our scholars will also have access to our online learning management system, known as Echo. Logging in to this website, will allow each scholar to see a list of their courses and all the details for each course. Scholars can see the Agenda for each day in each course, the details for every assignment, rubrics that will be used for grading, project resources, a list of assignments and due dates, teacher feedback on previous assignments, and so much more. They will even be able to submit all assignments online through Echo. This access to Echo means the end to lost papers and overflowing backpacks. Parents will also have Echo access that will allow them to see and do everything, accept submit assignments of course. Parents are an invaluable part of the learning process, so we encourage all parents to check Echo regularly and reach out if they have questions.