All BLMS students will participate in a technology each year. The South Carolina Internet Safety Standards and International Society for Technology in Education’s National Educations Technology Standards (ISTE NETS) will serve as a backbone of each course. The goal of having all students take a course in technology every year is that students understand and be able to demonstrate the safe, ethical, and effective use of technology. As technology revolutionizes our world, schools must seek ways to prepare and equip students with the skills to compete in an ever-demanding global economy. We want all students to be technologically literate, to be safe online and become effective and ethical digital citizens. An emphasis on technology being infused into the regular program will be ongoing. However, having a tech course that all students take each year will ensure that students have a chance to become efficient in tech literacy such as web 2.0 applications and be able to produce (not only critically consume) information. In order to realize our goals, we must ensure that students have access to technology.
If we expect our students to be safe, ethical and effective producers and consumers of technology then we, as educators, must ensure that students are being taught the technological skills and critical thinking abilities necessary to be successful in the 21st century. Examples include: how to set up privacy settings in Facebook, how to treat others with respect in an online environment, how to evaluate Webpages and information from a variety of online sources, be able to navigate searches, and use web 2.0 applications such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, and be able to create content and present to authentic audiences. Students need to understand design concepts and gain graphic design skills. Creating an online presence and the use of digital portfolios are being considered. The courses are under development, but we are very excited and believe our tech courses will be a powerful and important part of the BLMS educational program. In addition, all 7th grade students (except students in band or strings) will also take a Media Arts course. Our hope is that students will leave BLMS with rich and deep understandings and abilities in the areas of technology literacy and media citizenship.