Cassville school district offers new technology course
Basic keyboarding, digital citizenship, Internet safety being taught
The Cassville school district is offering a new type of course for primary and intermediate-aged students -- a course devoted exclusively to technology.
In addition to physical education, art, music and library, the students will now have a class just to learn about technology, the Internet, and all that goes along with it.
In the current digital, ever-changing age, the main focus of the course is to help students, from a young age, develop foundational keyboarding skills and learn about a new concept -- digital citizenship. Digital citizenship empowers students to think critically, behave safely and practice responsibility while utilizing technology.
In the class, students will learn about technology, including topics such as Internet vocabulary, Internet safety and how to safely perform an Internet search.
In addition to learning basic technology, technology concepts, citizenship and keyboarding skills, the class will also help prepare students for the future.
"At Cassville R-4, our goal is to provide students with the tools needed to be successful when they leave our district," said Jill LeCompte, assistant superintendent. "We believe technology is a tool that is needed to ensure success. We want all of our students, from the youngest to our senior high, to feel comfortable and competent when using technology. The addition of the technology courses at our primary and intermediate campuses will help us achieve that goal."
At Eunice Thomas Elementary, Sara Robertson will be teaching the course.
Robertson is new to the Cassville district, but has nine years of experience in the education field, including serving as assistant director at KidStuff Preschool in Joplin, as well as teaching fourth grade.
In the intermediate building, Cheryl Gianino is the instructor. Gianino has been employed with the district for 15 years. She previously served as an instructional assistant for the intermediate school.
Kindergarten students in the class will learn how to turn a computer on and off, the correct way to open and close programs, how to use a mouse, and begin learning basic keyboarding skills, such as correct posture and number and letter recognition.
First-grade students will review skills that were introduced to the kindergarten class as well as build on keyboarding skills.
Second-grade students will continue to expand on keyboarding skills and will follow the Keyboarding Without Tears program.
In addition to learning digital citizenship, intermediate students will focus on expanding previously-taught skills, and will utilize the Mavis Beacon program. Both Keyboarding Without Tears and Mavis Beacon are web-based programs that teach skills in a fun, game-like format.
"Being comfortable using the keyboard is vital for our students," Gianino said. "We spend the majority of our time practicing keyboarding."
Students will attend the course once per week for a 50-minute session.
"The best part about teaching this class is to see how excited our students become when they learn a new skill," Robertson said. "They are all very interested in learning about technology and it is neat to see their excitement when they get to sit down at their very own computer."