At 21st Century Charter School at Gary, we understand that using technology is critical in educating today’s students. Technology not only serves as a tool to help students become more knowledgeable and efficient in an increasingly wired economy, but technology can also serve to make instruction more efficient and to allow differentiation in how students are taught. 21st Century Charter School at Gary is committed to leveraging technology to truly improve a student’s educational experience.
Our commitment to technology first starts in the classroom. Our typical K-8 classroom will have 1 computer for every 3 children. For lesson plans that require a more dedicated utilization of technology, the High School has eight portable computing carts which allow each student access to their own individual computer during the course of that lesson. There are a total of 370 computers at the High School. The Elementary School has two computer carts and 104 computers.
In addition to a fully wifi enabled campus, we also maintain a dedicated computer lab for enhanced educational opportunities outside of the classroom. Our entire network has effective filtering and security technology in place to ensure that areas of the internet not appropriate for students are blocked.
21st Century Charter School at Gary also utilizes a concept called “Blended Learning” across all subject areas. Blended learning is education delivered primarily by an online program with supplemental assistance from a live instructor. Using blended learning allows students to operate at their own pace and gives differentiated learning opportunities for students who are operating both above and below grade level. The use of this technology also allows the teacher to spend more time in dedicated remediation time for students who are struggling to master difficult content.
In 2017, we further enhanced our commitment to technology with two significant improvements. All high school students will have their own dedicated computer and the school will begin our phased implementation of Google for Education. Google for Education is a secure platform which allows for the sharing of assignments and course materials regardless of where the child is physically located. Using the Google platform will allow 21st Century Charter School at Gary to continue to provide a high level of educational content with the convenience of a student being able to access that content at school, at the library or even at home.
21st Century Charter School at Gary participates in Project Lead the Way, a program to help our students make technology connections in the real world:
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education curricular programs.
Students that choose to enroll in Project Lead the Way courses have the opportunity to participate in daily lessons that allow them to apply what they learn to solve real-world challenges. These students participate in an engaging and thought-provoking curriculum that empowers them to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills necessary for success in life beyond high school.
Project Lead the Way offers three different programs:
- Gateway to Technology Program is intended for grades 6-8.
- The Pathway to Engineering Program is intended for grades 9-12.
- Biomedical Sciences Program is intended for grades 9-12.
The middle and high school programs are aligned with both the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, yet flexible and customizable so that our schools can meet both state and local curriculum needs. Presently, high school students may participate in the Pathway to Engineering Program.