Our students explore, collaborate, and create on a daily basis. As one of the first schools in the St. Louis area to implement a 1:1 laptop program, we know that technology plays an important role in the process; we also recognize that it is just one of the many tools and strategies that make learning happen. More often than not, our students will be reaching for pencil and paper, collaborating across both the physical and digital worlds, and looking up at classmates instead of down at a computer.

We do significant, ongoing work to support that environment and ensure that our technology approach—and curriculum—evolve thoughtfully over time to remain relevant. Whitfield provides a powerful, flexible infrastructure and laptop experience for all students, faculty, and staff members. Windows 10 laptops from the Microsoft Surface Pro line allow us to touch, type, or hand write in a digital world. Forward-thinking stewardship means greater bandwidth per student, more human resources committed to instructional technology integration, and more frequent laptop refresh rates than most schools in the St. Louis area. Access to a suite of software and services (from Adobe Creative Cloud to Office 365) allows all our students and faculty to collaborate and create on a professional level.

We are a community of learning, though, and not a community of hardware or software. Spend a week in our classrooms, or a few hours talking about technology use with our faculty, and here are some of the things you would expect to hear:

  • Handwriting is still relevant. Solid research suggests that, with students for whom handwriting is not a significant hardship, handwriting plays a powerful role in understanding and transferring new knowledge and concepts.
  • Shared notebooks are pervasive. Whitfield began using a system to allow teachers to see into—and interact with—student notebooks before Microsoft developed the capability to do so through Office 365.
  • IT skills develop everywhere. Whether it is simple problem solving or more advanced critical and computational thinking, technical work exists across the curriculum, not just in its own silo.
  • We are not a paperless community. Our hope is that Whitfield graduates are flexible and adaptable when working across a variety of mediums (both physical and digital) so that, when the next big thing in technology hits, they are comfortable working in a changing environment.
  • Habits of Mind and Heart informs everything we do. Whitfield's take on character development extends to the IT realm through acceptable use, digital citizenship, copyright, and mindfulness.
  • Diversity and inclusion drives technology strategy. Whitfield's emphasis on diversity and inclusion and student accommodation means all students should feel known, seen, and supported through (and with) technology use.

For more information on the types of things being done with technology in Whitfield classrooms, please schedule a campus visit, explore our curriculum page, or browse through our news archive.


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