An International Preschool-Grade 12 Academy 

Tech & Innovation

Technology and Innovation Program

Whether they are sketching architectural details of well-known Chicago institutions on their iPads or learning the science of coding, GEMS World Academy students use state-of-the-art technology at every grade level of their education journey. Technology is not an end in itself at GEMS World Academy Chicago. Rather, it is a skillset and mindset that allows students to translate and interact with the world around them in meaningful, reflective ways.

At GEMS World Academy, our technology program is supported by an expansive global network of schools with a visionary message and reach, an innovative school structure that allows for a fresh look at what education can be, and a strong team of educators poised to create and deliver a world-class education. GEMS World Academy’s core innovation ideas are designed to provide guidance and direction for the entire school in four important areas:

  • Student Directed Learning is the key to being successful in a rapidly transforming 21st century. Our students evolve in their ability to responsibility manage their learning and are encouraged to be life-longer learners through project-based work utilizing acquired knowledge and insight both independently and collaboratively.
  • Mobile Learning through extensive field studies allows our students to be researchers who see their world as a learning laboratory. Our students build authentic connections to our city, where their education is enriched by a global city of people, an intercultural community, and renowned institutions across Chicago. Through this pioneering learning initiative, students closely examine their local community while developing the skills necessary to see and understand the larger world.

  • A School as Connected Hub of Learning means our students and faculty work with their counterparts across the GEMS Education network of schools to build knowledge and experiences together. GEMS World Academy students use our networked hub of whiteboards and computer stations to build powerful communication skills, collaborate, document and reflect on their work. All of our students are challenged to think deeply and build an authentic and empathetic understanding of the interdependent nature of the world.

Technology and Hardware Environment

Our technological environment is robust and interactive. Students use technology as a tool to construct technical and 21st century knowledge that incorporates ways of investigating, communicating, and analyzing information in new and meaningful ways. Our technology programs encourage research, critical reading and writing, while also giving students tools to present their findings through innovative mapping and modeling tools.

List of 4 items.

  • iPad Mini (1:1 Program)

    Every student at GEMS World Academy is issued an iPad Mini. The iPad Mini is a multifaceted tool for learning in the classroom and field studies. As a primary tool in support of our Field Studies and Mobile Learning Program, students use iPads to capture and create a multimedia media record. iPads are also used across the school as note taking, reading devices, and as research tools. As our students study the city, iPad Minis enable students to bring the school with them into the field and the field back into school, while reflecting upon data that directly ties to their research and classroom unit of inquiry. 
  • MacBook Pro (2:1 Program)

    Beginning in 3rd grade, every student is issued a MacBook. The MacBooks are adjunct with the iPad Mini’s for students to work on analysis, mapping of data, multimedia production, coding, robotics and word-processing. Having a 2:1 student environment creates a complete mobile lab environment. 
  • Digital Learning Software

    We provide our educational community with a powerful and collaborative Learning Management System called Canvas by Instructure. This eLearning tool provides an ideal in interactive "Cloud (internet) based” classroom. Canvas enables the teacher to post multimedia course materials, engage students in an interactive forum for discussions, and use the site for global school-to- school project based learning. Students can be co-enrolled in the system with their parents, who gain a window into the classroom and ask questions of the teacher. Canvas also provides a platform to enhance and extend teacher professional development. 
  • Design and Innovation Lab

    Our Design and Innovation Lab will boast an ideal space to imagine, design, prototype, and create in a hands-on project based learning environment. Students will be encouraged to think like inventors, designers, engineers and scientists as they create products to address problems in the world and learn essential skills for new careers. Our Maker and Fabrication Lab features 3D printers, a laser cutter, Scatch and other programming language stations, electronics stations featuring Arduino and Rasberry Pi along with hand and power tools and robotics. 

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