Early Childhood Development

How The Gardner School Makes the Most of Technology

Early Childhood Development | April 7, 2017
A Gardner School Student Using Technology in the Classroom

Can you imagine what life would be like without technology? For today’s preschoolers, technology is just a natural part of their day. From tablets to telephones to TVs, children are familiar with various types of technology and how to use them. At The Gardner School, we are intentional about incorporating technology into the learning environment. We help your preschooler prepare for kindergarten, and technology is a key piece of the learning puzzle.

So, what does technology look like in the classroom for preschoolers at The Gardner School? Here’s a look at some of the specific ways our schools use technology, as well as how parents might use technology with their children at home.

Technology in the Classroom

At The Gardner School, teachers use the PreciouStatus application on iPads in each classroom. This is a fantastic tool for instant communication with parents during the day regarding their child’s activities, progress, and needs. Parents who use the app can follow along with their child’s day and also receive up-to-the-minute information such as school closings due to inclement weather. The teachers also send monthly newsletters, menus, reminders, menus, and other notes to keep everyone in the loop. Sara Beth Dekoff, a parent, affirms, “I loving checking PreciouStatus notifications during the day to see how my son is doing. Also, my husband travels a lot for work, so he misses out on our son’s day-to-day activities, however, the PreciouStatus app allows him to keep track of our child’s learning and school activities from afar.”

Teachers at The Gardner School use computers daily for resource material, reinforcing learning objectives, and to evaluate student’s strengths and areas that may need support. Allison Deutsch, Executive School Director at The Gardner School of Glenview-Northbrook in Chicago, says, “Staff members use technology in the classroom in a variety of ways. Students learn keyboarding skills, which help with letter and number recognition, as well as developing and refining small motor skills. Educational games, such as ABC Mouse, allow for students to practice academic skills, receiving immediate confirmation of skills mastered or allowing for additional practice of a skill until the child has mastered it.”

Using the internet in the classroom allows students to experience a broader connection to the world. Subjects such as science and social studies are instantly enhanced, as teachers have access to pictures and videos within the focus of each day’s lesson. In addition, Allison added that applications such as FaceTime and the simple technology of being able to send photos has allowed The Gardner School students to stay in touch with classmates who move away.

Technology throughout the School

Staff members at The Gardner School experience multiple benefits each day from the use of technology. Games or websites affiliated with The Gardner School’s curriculum allow teachers to prepare for daily activities and understand and evaluate each child’s growth.

Each parent receives an individualized code (which is considered their electronic signature) to sign students in and out. Without the code, there is no access. This technology also allows administration to watch student to teacher ratios in order to maintain licensing standards.

There are cameras in the classroom and common areas, which allow for parent viewing while they are on site. Allison Deutsch says, “This is a great way for parents to feel comfortable before they leave their child for the day—especially if there has been a difficult separation in the morning, or a sleepless night the evening before.”

Technology at Home

The Gardner School’s use of technology doesn’t end when a child goes home for the day. We make it a priority to provide parents with tools to continue the learning experience at home. Allison Deutsch affirms, “We encourage parents to log on to websites such as ABC MouseFunbrain Jr.Sprout, and Starfall as easy ways to introduce technology skills and enhance math, literacy, and problem-solving skills at home.”

Finally, parents can sign up for an additional enrichment during the school day, Be Smart Kids computers (as available). This allows The Gardner School students to continue learning at home in fun and creative ways.

As technology constantly changes, our goal is to stay up to speed, utilizing it for every possible learning opportunity imaginable. For more information about technology at The Gardner School, visit our technology page!