Starting in pre-kindergarten, Texas students are engaged in 21st Century learning through technology instruction guided by the Technology TEKS. Four-year-olds in Texas schools learn basic skills that prepare them for further technology interactions as they progress through the school system. These youngsters learn how to open and navigate through programs, basic terminology, and use of input devices, audio device operation, use of software applications for creation, and the concept of information accessible through the use of technology.
This basic knowledge forms the foundation for Kindergarten-2nd grade students to use a variety of input devices demonstrating more developed motor skills with them. K-2 students should be acquiring information from a variety of formats including text, audio, video and graphics using elementary keywords, and appropriate search strategies. They are able to input and manipulate data, and evaluate information to create products in a variety of media. They also start to exhibit an understanding of the ethics involved in using information by avoiding copying.
Building on the experiences of technology in the lower elementary grades, students in grades 3 – 5 continue to develop knowledge and skills in finding, evaluating, using and creating information. They use software programs to creatively solve problems and to express their learning. They increase their concepts of ethical use of information and proper citation. Evaluation of their products and the relevance is in evidence. Communication is shown in many forms including text, e-mail, audio and video and graphics.
Through online interfaces, middle school students continue to add to their skills and proficiency with technology applications including technology terms, concepts and data input strategies. Decisions are informed by the technology and they demonstrate efficient information acquisition strategies. They show better skills at analyzing and evaluating information. Problem solving is enhanced by choice of appropriate technology for the task. They communicate in different formats and to diverse audiences.
High School students concentrate learning in specific courses designed to give them tools for participating in a technology-rich work place. They continue to develop those skills on which they have been building since pre-kindergarten and demonstrate proficiency in research, appropriate and ethical use of information, more sophisticated products reflecting diverse formats and communication skills that enhance their creations.
Each level builds on the knowledge and skills of the one before. As students progress, they have multiple opportunities to develop the necessary skills to meet the TEKS for that level.