Digital Literacy and Technology

RM B28

Penn Alexander Computer Lab with apple computers

At Penn Alexander School, we recognize the need to prepare our students for life in a digital, global community.  We are committed to providing access to the latest technology across all grade levels, and our staff are encouraged to integrate technology with our curriculum to enhance instruction.

Students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade visit the computer lab for one class period each week, and small groups of students are offered additional technology classes in our extra-curricular after school program.  In August of 2023, Penn Alexander was one of approximately 24 schools in the entire School District of Philadelphia to receive an updated computer lab, with 12 new iMac desktops, 22 Macbook Air laptops, new flex space furnishings and two new kinds of robots, adding to our collection.

In Digital Literacy and Technology Class, students in all grades learn about Computing and Society:  Internet Safety, Digital Citizenship, Ethics and Laws (of course, presented in developmentally appropriate ways).  We also cover Computer Science Fundamentals and Coding, as well as Media and Information Literacy (Research, News, Website Evaluation), organizing information, and citing sources.  Students also learn to use a vast number of digital tools such as word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, and digital media design, collaboration and communication.  We also engage in “unplugged” technology, as well as work with  different kinds of robots (Sphero Bolt, Sphero Indi, and Ozobots).  Our motto is:  Try something new, and have fun!

In grades 1 through 8, students use Google Classroom to collaborate with teachers and classmates, and our PAS Robotics team uses LEGO Education SPIKE Prime software to program their robots.

HARDWARE HIGHLIGHTS

LOWER SCHOOL

SMART Interactive Flat Panels in every classroom and instructional space
Dell Chromebooks are assigned to each student
Apple iMac and Macbook Air computer lab for whole class use – RM B28

MIDDLE SCHOOL

SMART Interactive Flat Panel displays in all classrooms & Shared SMARTboard in Literacy Pod
Dell Chromebooks assigned to each student
Class set of Apple MacBook Pro laptops in Science Room
iPads for student use in Science Lab

SOFTWARE SUGGESTIONS FOR FAMILIES

Check out these free tools that can be used online, or downloaded for use.

SumoPaint Drawing and Image Editing Tool

PAINTBRUSH – A simple paint program

THE FOOS – Drag and Drop Coding for beginners
– also available as an app for tablets in most app stores.

CODE.ORG – Lots of drag and drop coding activities for all ages, and some Javascript and Python coding as well

TYPING.COM – Keyboarding practice

Adobe Express – This can be found in Infinite Campus for all K-12 students and staff members in the School District – for video making, logo design and much, much more.

Dig Lit Tech Curriculum

Elementary and Middle School Media and Design Competition

Each year, Penn Alexander students in Grades 3-8 create projects for a regional Media and Design Competition held during the Spring.

Students in Grades 3-5 compete in 3 categories – Digital Art, Digital Movie and Animation.  Students in Grades 6-8 compete in 6 categories – Digital Video, Logo Design, Web Page Design, Programming, Graphic Design, and Animation. First place winners at the regional competition are eligible to compete at the PA State Middle School Media and Design Competition.

Check out some of our past winners and Digital Movies from our students!  Click on the images to see the works in their entirety.

2024:  1st Place Philadelphia, Digital Art (Grades 3-5) – Ashes, by Asher A. and Noah M.-A. (Grade 5)

2024:  3rd Place, Philadelphia, Animation (Grades 3-5) – Aggressive Rock, Paper, Scissors by Wily and Orin (Grade 5)

2024:  1st Place, Philadelphia – and 2ND PLACE STATE WINNERS, Web Design (Grades 6-8) – Salt and Sage by Elizabeth and Alison (Grade 6)

2024:  2nd Place, Philadelphia, Logo Design (Grades 6-8) –  Soaring to New Heights by Eli M. and Anya M.  (Grade 6)

2024:  2nd Place, Philadelphia, Programming (Grades 6-8) –  Electromyography with the Micro:bit by Khalid E. (Grade 6)

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2023:  1st Place Philadelphia, Digital Art (Grades 3-5) – Ashes, by Asher A. (Grade 4)

2023:  3rd Place Philadelphia, Digital Art (Grades 3-5) – Sunset on a Beach by Ida, Zolana and Celia (Grade 4)

2023:  3rd Place, Philadelphia, Animation (Grades 3-5) – Incident by Benjamin, Ray and Eddie (Grade 5)

2023:  1st Place, PENNSYLVANIA STATE WINNER, Web Design (Grades 6-8) – Black Voices, Black Joy by Maha (Grade 7)

2023:  1st Place, Philadelphia, Animation (Grades 6-8) – Before and Now: School by Lautaro and Irene (Grade 7)

2023:  2nd Place, Philadelphia, Logo Design (Grades 6-8) – Shedding Light on the Modern World by Molly (Grade 6)

2023:  2nd Place, Philadelphia, Programming (Grades 6-8) – Turty’s Pond Cleanup by Alexander O. (Grade 6)