The State of Alabama provides minimum requirements for teaching technology in third grade so that all students can achieve technology fluency.
The Alabama State Department of Education specifies skills and knowledge that students should develop in order to “live productively in an increasingly digital world.” However, school systems are free to add content to their technology courses. The K-12 Technology Education program encourages teachers to integrate technology into all curriculum “every day in every grade and subject”. The program hopes that students will become proficient in operating technology systems, in conducting research using digital tools and in using digital tools to “solve real-world problems, collaborate with others, and create simulations.”
State Education Standards for Technology
The state of Alabama has organized its technology content standards into six areas of concentration. These six areas are: Technology Operations and Concepts; Digital Citizenship; Research and Information Fluency; Communication and Collaboration; Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making; and Creativity and Innovation. The third grade standards build on the content standards taught in Grades K-2. For example, second-grade teachers are required to teach students how to design original works using digital tools, while third-grade teachers build on that framework by teaching students to create a product using digital tools. This content is part of the Creativity and Innovation strand.
All of the content in all of the areas is designed to work together to help students achieve technology fluency. The standards become more rigorous as students progress.
Technology Requirements for Third Graders in Alabama
All students should have access to current technology. Teachers who allow students to access the Internet must also teach Cyber safety to all students. Keyboard skills are introduced in Kindergarten and continue to be emphasized in Third Grade. Teachers should look for appropriate ways to assess technological progress through projects, digital portfolios or other means.
Teachers need to provide opportunities for students to use technology individually and in collaborative groups. Students should be allowed to connect electronically with peers and experts in order to do research, analyze data and solve problems. Teachers need to use technology to develop critical thinking skills such as drawing conclusions and evaluating conclusions made by others.
Student Expectations in the area of Technology Operations and Concepts
Students are expected to be able to use input and output devices of technology systems such as recording devices, keyboards, touchscreens and printers. They should be able to demonstrate ergonomics and correct keyboarding techniques. Students are expected to be able to remove storage media safely.
Third-grade students in Alabama are also expected to be able to use various technology applications, such as word processing programs and multimedia software. They are expected to be able to use navigational features commonly found in technology applications. In addition, students are expected to be able to identify digital file types, various operating systems of technology devices and common hardware and software problems. They should also be able to determine basic troubleshooting strategies to correct those problems.
Student Expectations in the area of Digital Citizenship
Third-grade students in Alabama should be able to use technology systems and applications safely. They are expected to be able to describe social and ethical behaviors related to technology use. They should be able to describe the global nature of the Internet and explain the influence of technology on society.
Districts and schools need to develop acceptable-use policies regarding technology that students are required to follow. Students should be able to identify intrusive applications, including worms, viruses, spyware, and pop-up advertisements.
Student Expectations in the area of Research and Information Fluency
Third-grade students in Alabama should be able to collect information from a variety of digital sources such as online libraries and multimedia dictionaries. They should be able to use technology tools to organize information. They should be able to demonstrate efficient Internet search strategies such as searching by keywords. Students need to be able to evaluate electronic resources for reliability based on publication date, bias, accuracy, and source credibility.
Students should also be able to use technology tools such as spreadsheets and databases to organize, interpret, and display data.
Student Expectations in the area of Communication and Collaboration
Students should be able to use digital environments to collaborate and communicate. Examples may include publishing online journals, sharing presentations, contributing to online discussions and communicating with experts. Students should be able to produce digital works such as writing projects collaboratively.
Student Expectations in the area of Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Third-grade students in Alabama should be able to use digital tools to analyze authentic problems.
Student Expectations in the area of Creativity and Innovation
Students should be able to create a product such as a digital story or podcast using digital tools.
Requirements for Technology Instructional Time
Students should have at least 60 minutes of technology instructional time each week.