Library & Technology
The Green Acres library is a beautiful sunlit space with a 20,000-item multicultural print collection and multiple instructional areas, including a computer lab. Diversity, inclusion, and social justice provide the framework for the spiraling library/information literacy curriculum, which includes library skills, literature appreciation, and research skills and strategies.
Students come to the library for scheduled classes and also to browse displays and bookshelves, get hands-on research assistance, participate in social justice book clubs, and find a cozy spot for reading and research work. The library can accommodate several groups concurrently for instruction, independent reading, and project collaborations and is a place that inspires joyful, lifelong reading and learning throughout the grades.
At Green Acres, we aim to create a healthy, age-appropriate balance between time spent outdoors and interacting with classmates and time spent honing skills for success in the digital age. We firmly believe in the value of teaching our students to use technology ethically and critically; we also believe that technology is an incredible supplement to enhance and enrich curriculum—but not to be the vehicle by which curriculum is delivered.
In our earliest grades, we intentionally create a limited-screen environment in which students can learn, play, refine motor skills, and collaborate with peers in a way that makes most sense for their developmental stage. In 1st and 2nd grade, students begin to learn what it means to be a "digital citizen" and have structured classroom opportunities with iPads to use child-friendly search engines to locate answers to class-generated questions. Typing is taught in 3rd grade, and, by 4th grade, the use of computers to conduct sustained research projects is a regular feature of the program.
Technology is a much more prominent feature in Middle School, with each child benefitting from our one-to-one laptop program. Students dive more deeply into digital citizenship in their advisory and techxplorations classes, and technology is used as a tool to promote design thinking, coding, and programming skills. Students also have access to the computer lab, located in the library, where they become skilled at navigating databases to conduct research for class projects and papers. Online textbooks for Middle School students allow us to be more eco-friendly in our practices, while hands-on classwork keeps students grounded and engaged in the physical world.