At The York School, our approach to technology is not about gadgets and gizmos – it is about a progressive approach to education and a school-wide commitment to innovation.
We offer a culture of creativity that inspires teachers and students to think differently, explore confidently and adapt skillfully. This approach means that we are constantly searching for technological opportunities that will enhance learning.
Technology has always driven the tradition of innovation at The York School. Our capacity for change made us one of the first schools in Canada to offer a one-to-one laptop programme. Being at the forefront of innovation among independent schools means constantly searching for the next horizon.
When exploring options and making choices about technology in the classroom, we focus on ways to enrich the IB inquiry method and to empower students and teachers to access the full potential of their imaginations. Technology provides a wonderful opportunity for teachers and students to share the journey of learning and break down barriers that limit exploration and discovery.
Led by our Learning, Technology &Innovation department, the school constantly adapts to technological opportunities that arise and responds with new initiatives and programmes. We regularly assess the needs of our community at the school, classroom, individual and faculty levels, and participate in a rigorous process of goal setting and reflection each year.
Technology in the Classroom
In the Junior School, technology skills are integrated into the curriculum. Students see technology as a tool to learn, communicate and present information. All Junior School teachers are trained in the use of available technologies, and we also offer a full-time Technology Learning & Teaching Coordinator who is available in and out of the classroom to support teachers and students.
Junior School students have easy access to computers and tablets, and we integrate technology into a wide range of teaching and learning activities that cater to students' needs. This early exposure ensures that their technological capabilities develop alongside their other skills and gives them the comfort they need as they move up through the school.
Students in Kindergarten use desktop computers and a SmartTable to access resources and games which stimulate their learning, and students in Grade 1 use desktops with carefully chosen software. Students in Grades 2 to 5 use laptops in the classroom to facilitate the seamless integration of technology.
As well, iPads are used at all grade levels to access websites and participate in online learning activities that complement the curriculum. We also equip every classroom with a mounted digital projector, interactive whiteboard and audio equipment. Wireless access points throughout the School ensure connection to online encyclopedias, databases, news services, global communications and video-streaming in every room.
At all levels, students are assisted by their teachers in the use of computers and software to ensure a strong foundation of computer literacy. Skills include keyboarding, file organization, building multimedia presentations, electronic communication, information retrieval and management, as well as the development of responsible digital citizenship.
Software includes the Microsoft Office Suite, the Adobe Digital School collection, multimedia presentation software, concept mapping software, music software and a wide range of curriculum-related applications to support learning needs.
Digital Citizenship Resources
The school’s Wellness team and Learning, Technology and Innovation department teamed up to create Digital Citizenship Resources which provide best practices and address risk factors involved with children on social media.
At school, we see many wonderful educational and community building opportunities through social media and incorporate them into our classrooms when we can, but we also ensure students from a young age understand the responsibility that comes with having an online presence.
If you have any specific questions about social media and your children, please contact Director of Learning, Innovation & Technology, Justin Medved.