Westlake has invested heavily in campus technology. We provide students with a full-featured Computer Lab and fleets of portable devices (both tablets and laptops) in sufficient quantities to deliver 1:1 access in every elementary classroom. Every elementary classroom has its own multi-unit computer center as well. Beginning in 6th grade, students bring their own device for classroom use; each personal device must be certified for compliance with Westlake Christian School technology specifications. Every classroom features a SMART™ interactive whiteboard, a document camera, a ceiling-mounted projector and high-speed wired and wireless access to our content-filtered gigabit network. Additional equipment such as web cams may be checked out by teachers for classroom use when needed. In addition to these hardware components, Westlake Christian School provides systems such as Accelerated Reader, Discovery Education, RenWeb, online versions of selected textbooks and a Westlake email address for every student in 4th grade and above.
The guiding intent of Westlake Christian School’s investment in technology is for students to become confident and competent using technology to pursue learning more completely, creatively and efficiently, and to use their technology skills responsibly, safely and with the highest integrity.
As such, Westlake has designed and implemented a customized Educational Technology program that reflects not only national and state standards but also the priorities of the local high schools to which our students graduate. The curriculum design begins with two sets of national guidelines: 1) the National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) published by the International Society for Technology in Education; 2) the Framework for 21st Century Learning published by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Westlake Christian School has incorporated the five Student Technology Literacy Indicators defined by the Florida Department of Education, and last but not least, the school annually benchmarks the four high schools (public and private) to which most of our students graduate to understand the technology skills and practices expected of top-performing freshmen. All of these inputs are then distilled into a curriculum scope and sequence that guides instruction and assessments from kindergarten through middle school.
Technology instruction is integrated into the classroom curriculum at every level. In elementary school, weekly technology instruction is team-taught by the technology specialist and the classroom teacher. This practice supports several objectives. It assures that integrated assignments fully reflect both required technology skills and classroom curriculum objectives. It provides technology training for the classroom teachers so they can continue to integrate appropriate technology skills into their classroom instruction beyond the formal technology curriculum. It also provides the ability to deliver differentiated instruction to students.