Technology at Mounds Park Academy is integrated into the overall PreK-12 program. It is our philosophy that since technology surrounds us, its knowledge and skills are best learned through active participation. Mounds Park Academy is prepared to meet the challenges of this continually evolving digital environment with new ideas and new ways to use it spiraled throughout our curriculum.
The entire campus at Mounds Park Academy is wireless with several types of computer workstations located throughout the school. The library has computers available for quiet study or research. The Library features an online catalog system and research-oriented databases.
At MPA we are educating students for the future, as well as present, job market and the skills we teach are broad-based with six areas of focus: proficiency skills, critical thinking skills, research skills, multimedia/communication skills, creativity and ethical development. Measures of student literacy include the ability to deal with information-related tasks, demonstration of general computer and associated application skills and ability to follow appropriate online safety protocols. Exposed to many different applications of computer use that include a wide variety of grade-specific software and peripherals, students learn to use the computer to connect, to study and to investigate during their school experience.
Lower School students at Mounds Park Academy have access to technology in their classrooms and in the Lower School computer lab. Students begin to develop their skills through integrated lessons, focusing on using technology as a tool for learning. Classroom teachers use the iPad or computer for demonstrations and activities that involve peripherals such as the digital microscopes. Students also apply their technology skills in a variety of ways through paint and draw programs or as they organize and analyze data using spreadsheets and graphs. They also learn to navigate and evaluate web sites as they practice keyboarding skills and use digital media to create multimedia presentations. As educators, our long-term goal is to prepare students for a society that depends upon technology and the human-power behind it.
Technology is a vital tool in today’s world, and is integrated throughout the Middle School program. We teach students how to be educated consumers of media resources, discuss etiquette and ethics, and purposefully work on the skills that adolescents will need as they move through their lives.
All Middle School students are provided with their own laptops. Through technology, Middle School students learn to stretch and broaden their skills using a variety of programs and cloud-based applications. Particular emphasis is placed on hands-on, authentic learning experiences where technology is used to convey a message, solve a problem, and collaborate with peers. Students learn to use the Internet as an investigative tool, all while putting into practice responsible use.
Fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students take technology seminar classes to strengthen computer skills such as word processing, algorithmic thinking, multimedia applications, and presentation software. Additionally, students learn about the ethical challenges of using a computer and about making informed choices.
Mounds Park Academy was one of the first schools in Minnesota to initiate a 1:1 laptop program. Our Learning with Laptops program in the Upper School redefines educational freedom. The walls of the classroom virtually expand, allowing students and teachers diverse opportunities to investigate, explore and engage in interactive learning experiences. A semester-long Introduction to Upper School seminar course for ninth grade students includes computer and technology skills expected of Upper School students as well as discussions about the ethical use of computers. The multimedia capabilities of the laptop become a portable, interactive lab and Upper School faculty take advantage of those “teachable moments” designing classroom activities that allow opportunities to investigate, explore and connect in significant ways.