Educational technology is integrated into the Westwood elementary curriculum to support and enhance teaching and learning from kindergarten through grade 5. The primary goal is to support student learning through the use of productivity, communication, research and curriculum related tools. Through project based learning and research students develop critical thinking skills and acquire technical skills along the way. In grade 3 through 5 the Internet is utilized for research and through the use of webquests. The following software titles are used to support teaching and learning in the Westwood Elementary schools.

Co:Writer and Write:Outloud (Solo) supports student writing across the curriculum. While Co:Writer is designed to assist students with finding the right words to express themselves; Write:Outloud is designed to help with self assessment of student writing. (2-5)

The Graph Club assists students in learning to gather, sort, and classify information. Students are able to manipulate and display information in a variety of forms: picture, bar, line and pie graphs. Additional activities include opportunities to practice building and interpreting graphs. (K-3)

Apple's iMovie makes it possible for students to use digital storytelling to communicate their ideas in video fomat. Students are able to combine images, text, sound, and video to create multimedia projects across the curriculum. (3-5)

Inspiration and Kidspiration are visual learning tools that enable students to organize their thinking. Students create concept maps, webs and other graphical organizers in the diagram view; then toggle to the outline/writing view and see a linear outline of the information. Inspiration and Kidspiration are frequently used as a prewriting activity across the curriculum. When finished compiling an outline or web students can simply transfer their information to Microsoft Word to continue the writing process. (3-5)

KidPix Deluxe is a multimedia authoring application for young students. Kindergarten through third grade students use the program to create slideshows which demonstrate their understanding of a curriculum topic or to document an experience such as a field trip. Digital images such as photographs can be imported into the paint program. (K-3)

MapMaker's Toolkit is a sophisticated map making application. MapMaker's Toolkit includes over 400 current, historical and theme maps. Students are able to customize these maps with drawing tools to document events. Maps can be printed and exported in a variety of file formats and be used in other applications. (3-5)

Microsoft PowerPoint is a multimedia authoring tool. Students are able to create multimedia presentations to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of curriculum topics. Presentations can be converted to html and can be posted on the web. (3-5)

National Inspirer guides students across the United States in search of natural resources. Students are asked to interpret maps, strategize with teammates, and share information with their groups. (4)

Pilgrim Quest II is a simulation software designed to help students learn about the Pilgrims, specifically, and colonial survival, in general. In this simulation, students make the decisions of survival for Plimouth Colony in 1620. The software, a simulation for learning, looks like a game. Students win by managing to keep the colony viable and the people healthy. Poor management leads to destruction. The software includes historical background and information. (3-5)

Neighborhood Map Machine is an easy to use map making application. Students can create neighborhood maps with roads, parks and building icons. Students also learn directionality as they explore maps and participate in scavenger hunts. (K-3)

Tenth Planet Literacy Series includes the following CD ROMS: Letter Sounds, Vowel Sounds: Short and Long, Word Parts, Vowel Patterns and Consonant Blends and Digraphs. Each Program provides opportunities for students to practice and develop phonic skills. Engaging video clips provide examples of concepts and skills. Student work is saved and printed out in an online journal. (K-2)

TimeLiner assists students in organizing events into a time line in a quick and easy format. Timelines can be merged together to show how events may be related. Events can be color coded to demonstrate cause and effect and other relationships. Timelines can be printer out in a banner format. (K-5)

Type to Learn is a keyboarding program that combines a series of lessons with entertaining activities that support keyboarding basics. This program assists students, when using Alphasmarts and computers, for writing across the curriculum. (3-5)

WiggleWorks supports students' language development by integrating reading, writing, and listening. Students are presented with a library of books that can be read independently and/or have read aloud. With the magnet board students are able to build story words, as well as use the available tools to highlight phonetic patterns. The writing extension allows students to create their own stories as well as responding to the ones they have read. (K-2)


M.Misuta & A. Amaral Roy
© January 2000
Last updated November 2005