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Technology, Teaching, and Learning at MDIS | Nakshatra R

At MDIS much of the teaching is done using technology, although which technology is used varies from grade level to grade level. Elementary school head Mrs. Kamaal shared that it really depends on how the teachers have decided to integrate technology into the syllabus.

The fourth and fifth graders use Chromebooks or iPads for research for class projects and for learning how to type. The lower grades use various websites or apps for math, reading, and other subjects like music. The reading website, RAZ-Kids (Reading A to Z), provides fun books for students who are making progress through reading levels from A to Z.

In middle and high school, even though students receive worksheets and photocopies from textbooks, the majority of the assignments are turned in through Google Classroom, a free web service developed by Google which makes it super easy for teachers to communicate with their students and grade them. We have a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) rule that requires students to bring a device with them to school so that they can work on activities in class. We also have projectors or TVs in every room to use when showing videos, text, documentaries, and more. Although students can borrow iPads if their devices run out of battery or if they have technical issues, it is still mandatory for students to bring their devices to school every day.

One class in which I use different forms of technology is Journalism/Magazine, in which we create a quarterly school magazine, The Spirit of MDIS, and an end-of-year literary magazine, Zeitgeist. After doing interviews for our articles, we use Google Docs to share and revise our articles for The Spirit of MDIS, and we are learning how to use an open-source layout software called Scribus to make the articles look professional for publication.

Last semester, I had fun covering different ways festivals are celebrated in different countries. I got the opportunity to interview workers at gurudwaras and temples in which I learned a lot, and after writing the article, I really liked the layout I created because I learned how to create beautiful borders in Scribus with images of LED lights.

For the annual literary magazine, students can submit anything from poetry to essays, music, and art. We created classroom posters for printing and a video to show students how and what to submit, and we have used Google Forms to accept, sort, and view submissions. When we have chosen which pieces to accept, we will use Scribus once again to design the cover and put the pieces into page layout. These magazines are a good way of showing students’ creativity and of covering school events and relevant topics of interest to our community. Technology is key to the way learning at MDIS happens!

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