St. Francis students receive an introduction to personal computer technology in this class based on Mississippi state frameworks and national standards for technology education. In the classroom, students receive an introduction to the basics of keyboarding, controlling the mouse cursor and learning about special keys and drop-down boxes. They also receive access to virtual applications designed to strengthen skills in core subjects. This software is available for use anywhere the student can access the Internet. Links are provided for parents and students in the section to the right.
- Strengthen age-appropriate skills based on student need. An example of need can be seen in the modern focus on computer-based testing. Older students who lack typing skills and younger ones lacking the motor skills to effectively use a mouse may exhibit poor scores that do not accurately reflect their academic achievement.
- Increase computer literacy. A basic understanding of concepts is beneficial in several ways. Background knowledge of common applications and the needs they fill may allow students to transfer skills from one type of device, such as a laptop, to other devices more readily. It is also increasingly common for people in all fields to work with technology and technology specialists. Communication and further learning are made easier with basic literacy.
- Internet safety and ethics (Netiquette). Safety is an ever-present concern with any new medium of communication. We expect our children to be respectful of each other, adults and themselves. We respect ourselves best by our thoughtful treatment of others and concern for consequences of our actions.
One goal is to strengthen age-appropriate skills based on student need. For instance, an introduction to Excel spreadsheet would be most appropriate for 5th and 6th graders learning data collection and graphing. Other basic Microsoft applications will be explored as time permits. Computers and modern communications devices offer great potential for enriching every aspect of our lives, yet they also present risks, such as identity theft, compromised reputation and threats to physical safety. Responsible and safe use of technology are part of an ongoing dialogue that we should all engage in for ourselves and our children.