Our goal at Compass High School is to expose students to a variety of technologies–both educational and assistive–so they can discover what works best for them. Here are some of the highlights of the technology program at Compass.
1:1 Laptop Program
Personal laptops are provided to all incoming students to facilitate interactive learning and deepen students’ mastery and engagement with classroom material. These laptops are loaded with the latest assistive and instructional software for use in and out of the classroom.
Every classroom is equipped with technology that allows teachers to use a multi-sensory approach. Interactive whiteboards, wireless Internet access, a variety of cutting-edge software apps, and other instructional technologies are standard in every class. We use Language! and MindPlay to work on reading fluency and comprehension, Inspiration to brainstorm, and movies and podcasts to provide material in a multi-sensory way. Our students are given opportunities to expand their horizons through the use of Virtual Reality and have used such technology for virtual lab experiments and other simulations. At Compass, we aim to harness a multitude of established and innovative technologies to make learning exciting.
Each student is encouraged and trained to identify an individual Assistive Technology Profile. Students use specialized software programs to develop reading fluency, and improve decoding and comprehension skills. Students are introduced to text-to-speech software and audio books to help them find the most comfortable way of reading text. To facilitate written language, students master keyboarding and basic word processing strategies. Students also use Inspiration to help them generate and organize ideas for writing. Other software programs help with spelling, word-finding, and editing. For students who prefer to dictate their writing, we assist them in mastering speech-to-text software.
Communication and Organization
All students and parents have access to a variety of technological tools to support high level Executive Functioning and organizational skills. These tools provide simple ways to manage short-term daily schedules, as well as long-term assignments. We use Google Drive, the learning management system eBackpack and JupiterGrades to facilitate and manage communication and task assignment between teachers, students and parents. We also introduce students to a variety of computer note-taking and study aids.
Students who learn differently are often passionate and talented with computers. As Compass High School grows in size and our elective program expands, we will be offering several computer elective courses. We currently offer a Graphic Design elective, and aim to provide Game Design and Robotics electives in the near future. We have recently partnered with Tech Shop, located in Redwood City, in order to offer our students an additional extracurricular opportunity to further develop their technology and maker skills.
Teacher Training and Support
We recognize that successful implementation of our technology program depends on robust training, coaching, and support of teachers. That is why we have pursued a partnership with Stanford University’s Department of Educational Technology to help develop a progressive technology program. Teachers will attend conferences and workshops, and we will bring coaches into the classroom to assist teachers in deepening their knowledge and mastery of educational and assistive technology.