Digital learning is part of the fabric of Stamford American. Walk around the school and you may see kids programming to show their knowledge of math, designing circuits to explore energy, using digital discussion tools to hear everyone’s voice, building marble-roller coasters to inquire into physics, or studying artificial-intelligence in student-led projects. Teachers inspire students with provocations and support them with personalized feedback. Stamford American’s Digital Learning Team works to support teachers to leverage digital learning to reach all students.
At Stamford American, digital learning is more than simply using a digital device while learning. Rather, it refers to digital-age learning; that is, the types of learning that are possible and necessary in the digital world of today and tomorrow. It involves not only the use of technology but the ways of thinking and interacting that have influenced, and been influenced by, society’s digital transformation. Inspired by Stamford’s vision, and informed by our understanding of digital learning, comes our vision of digital learning: “Redesigning learning in a digital world to inspire, create and personalize.”
We support this vision with extensive, purposeful use of technology, beginning with our 1:1 device program. Students from KG2 to Grade 5 are provided with iPads, while students in Grades 6-12 are issued MacBooks. From the first week of school they learn what it means to use technology responsibly, in alignment with our Stamford values. Students in the Middle and High School have co-constructed a set of Responsible Tech Use Guidelines that provide students with an ethical framework to use digital tools, both in and out of school, to support learning.
Stamford American students are supported in effective and ethical use of technology through ongoing learning in Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship. We have mapped out and embedded digital literacy skills (eg. Google Workspace) in class throughout the curriculum so students learn to communicate, collaborate, and research using technology, as well as developing skills in information/media literacy, design thinking, and computational thinking.
Our Digital Citizenship curriculum is aligned to Common Sense Education, and in 2018 we became a Common Sense School. As children grow older they learn about media balance and digital wellness, about protecting their own privacy and security, and about managing their digital footprint. These lessons are integrated into Units of Inquiry in the Early Years and Elementary, and into our Advisory program in Middle and High School.
Throughout their learning journey, teachers use our Learning Management Systems to share images, videos, stories, portfolios, assignments, and grades. In the Early Years and Elementary School we use Seesaw, and in the Middle and High School we use ManageBac. These systems support our students whether learning in class, after school, or in Home-Based Learning.
We use these platforms and tools to help reach all students both academically and emotionally. We use learning maps and environments that help students engage with content, and design opportunities for feedback from both teachers and peers. We help students create videos, websites, podcasts, eBooks, music, computer code, and digital art to empower them as learners. We leverage powerful adaptive platforms to help personalize the learning of each student.
Digital learning is part of how we inspire students to create their unique future. With it, students have the knowledge, skills, habits, and understanding to succeed at Stamford and beyond.