Technology Takeover: How Mililani Schools Use Technology

Chloe Kitsu, Copy Editor

Throughout the years, there have been many advances in technology, from Apple Macintosh computers to MacBook Airs, and from iPods to iPads, technology evolves everyday. These new technologies are being integrated into student’s curriculum . With new online reading, math, social studies and science learning programs, schools are able to utilize these programs to help aid student learning.

Mililani Waena Elementary

Mililani Waena Elementary is one of the many schools across the state of Hawai’i to get the one to one pilot program grant providing the school with $1 million to purchase computers for each student. Waena also utilizes SmartBoards now known as “interactive whiteboards” that teachers can hook their computer up to. The board projects what’s on the teacher’s screen which then can be manipulated on the board, with a touch of a finger. There are also other online programs that are used as well. KidBiz or Achieve 3000 is a web-based individualized reading and writing program that tracks student progress and reading lexile through different activities and assessments. IXL is a math and language arts practice website for students in kindergarten to twelfth grade that has numerous topics for students to study. “So all classrooms are equipped with MacBook computer carts, so there’s about 25 to 30 MacBooks in the classrooms — so all students have access to that as well. In addition, we do have iPads that teachers can check out. With the Mac computers we have a variety of digital tools that they can use,” said Vice Principal Sean Takashima. “So we actually have a variety of digital — it’s actually like a digital menu, there’s iReady, a lot of schools including us use IXL, also very popular is Achieve 3000 or KidBiz is utilized, the students do use the host of Google apps, the primary ones that they use in elementary is just the Google Docs and the Google Slides, but with the computer the students use the PhotoBooth to take a lot of self-assessment videos and then they upload it to SeeSaw which is an online portfolio platform that they use to communicate with parents (on) their progress as well.”

Mililani High School

MHS uses a wide variety of technology ranging from English classes having a one to one set of laptops, to each student having access to their own Google accounts. Each student is able to use Google Drive, Gmail, Google Classroom, and more. Google Classroom allows teachers to create and posts assignments that students can see anywhere regardless if they’re on a computer or a mobile device. Some classrooms are paperless as all studentwork is done online or on Google Drive.

Mililani Uka Elementary

At Mililani Uka Elementary students in grades two to five now have a one to one computer system. In their lower grades, they also utilize iPads during the school day. Along with KidBiz and IXL, Uka also uses Lexia and Typing Agent. Lexia is a reading literacy software that addresses the development of reading, spelling, oral language and writing skills. Typing Agent is a web-based program that allows teachers to monitor student typing lessons and curriculum. “Students have technology or computer classes every two weeks for curriculum integrated lessons using applications from Microsoft Office, Apple iWork, and Google Apps for Education,” said technology coordinator Bao Nguyen.

Mililani Middle School

Since Mililani Middle School’s (MMS) opening in 1998, the technology within the school has changed. MMS went from having only four Compaq PCs with a 14 inch monitor in each classroom for students to use and one Apple Macintosh computer for the teacher to now having multiple computer labs and laptops for students to use. MMS also utilizes the Google Apps that include Google Docs, Drive, Slides and more. “There are two computer labs in the library, digital media labs in B and C buildings.  Each grade level buildings have computer labs as well as several mobile labs for each grade level made up of iPads and ChromeBooks,” said Yearbook teacher Paul Stanley. “All of the MMS students have a Google account and use it daily. This is very helpful because they can continue their work outside of the classroom using Google Docs, Drive, other apps, Gmail. They can continue using other computers on campus, at home or even on their personal mobile devices.”

Mililani Ike Elementary

Mililani Ike Elementary uses an array of technology from SeeSaw to IXL. Ike also uses Google applications: Google Docs, Drive, Drawings and Slides. Their school documents, forms of communication and curriculum binders are all digital. They also utilize a program called Green Screen — it allows students to share what they learned in a unit, they can create a script, record their video and share it with others. “We are building a culture in our tech lab that the students can get up and help others.  Not do it for others, but the students have to communicate to their peers how to do something. If the students discover something when they are using the technology, they can teach the class what they have learned,” said Principal Lynne Ajifu.

Mililani Kipapa Elementary

Within the past two months, 15 Mililani Kipapa Elementary classrooms received Promethean Boards from MMS. Along with Promethean Boards, Kipapa is a one to one computer school and utilizes technology in their performing arts programs. “About three to four years ago, we became a one to one school. Each student has access to a device throughout the school day. This allows for more flexibility, scheduling lessons and creating learning groups and stations, more opportunities for students to be creative and problem solve using these devices. For Technology class, we integrate a lot of the projects we do with performing arts. Students create backgrounds and sets for the grade level performance sets,” said technology coordinator Kacie Conner. “With this interactive whiteboard, it helps to enhance lessons and allows the students to become more engaged in the activities through touch or with the use of special pens.”

Mililani Mauka Elementary

Mililani Mauka Elementary has had a variety of changes in their technology since 1993. Back then they only had four desktop computers in each classroom while today each student has access to a laptop computer. They also have moved on from using hardcover textbooks to E-books on the computer. Mauka also uses SMART boards and laptops to view videos or presentations instead of on a TV.