SCA Ninth Grade Students Design App and Online Professionals Take Notice

What do app designs, artificial intelligence, and teamwork have in common? One thing – Sherwood Christian Academy’s Introduction to Digital Technology class.

Ninth grade students in Mrs. Vicki Davis’ Introduction to Digital Technology class designed an app about digital ethics and safety as it relates to artificial intelligence using the Figma web and app design tool. 

Designed like a business project, the app project was peer-led with students taking various roles such as project manager, researcher, production manager, and graphic designers. 

Freshman Kyra Bevel, project manager of the app design project, put her leadership skills to the test as she took the lead on the app this semester.

“One skill that I learned while working on this project was a leadership technique,” said Kyra. “I learned that when you lead, you must encourage others. When people think they are unimportant, they don’t feel like they are needed, so they don’t feel the need to work and contribute to a bigger cause. Being a leader requires many qualities, but the most important one is encouragement.”

Project Assistant Manager Olivia Keith contributed to the app this semester by writing copy, providing graphic design and videography, editing, and extending positive advice when deemed necessary. Her education went beyond design and the project — she learned more about operating as a team. 

“By collaborating as a team to successfully achieve the final app through Figma, I grasped the true meaning of effective communication,” said Olivia. “Being up-front about work, specific tasks, and skill sets were vital to the progression of this project. Ensuring each individual person worked on their task and were able to execute their expected job was honestly the main struggle. Engaging those in a work-stimulated environment could discourage some, however, providing support for those in need was prioritized for the benefit of us all as a whole.”

The students’ hard work paid off and design professionals took notice. Adobe-owned Figma employees discovered the project when SCA Teacher and Instructional Technology Director Mrs. Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher on Twitter) tweeted about the students using the design tool to create their app. The Figma representatives scheduled a time to Zoom with the class and the students professionally presented their apps, shared their workflow, and provided feedback on Figma’s design tool with company employees on February 13.

This was more than just an assignment for some students. Brody Brown, project manager for the fall semester class and icon designer, said the project showed him three things about himself.

“This project lit a passion for graphic design in me,” said Brody. “I learned how to manage my time and better communicate with others.”

In addition to writing about artificial intelligence, they are using the artificial intelligence built into ChatGPT from to write portions of the app as they do their research. All of the uses of ChatGPT are clearly cited in their app and quoted as a source and it is helping students more effectively understand artificial intelligence. While many are openly criticizing the use of tools like ChatGPT, this class is learning how to ethically use AI as a research partner in creating content.

Designing the app became more than a class project — it was a lesson in leadership, communication, professionalism, and refining the skills that God has placed in each of these ninth grade students.

The students have released their prototype for viewing by the public:

The Zoom call will also be posted on the school’s YouTube page.

Kindergarten’s New Promethean Board

IMG_2872The SCA kindergarten teachers are excited about the addition of the new Promethean board in their department Promethean boards use touch screen technology and are particularly good for this developmental age because as students write letters, match numbers, sort colors, and perform other tasks, they are crossing the midline of the brain and helping make connections between both hemispheres of the brain. Teachers have the ability to display different interactive games and activities allowing students to interact with the board through touch or a special pen.

Our Promethean board is mobile so it can be shared among the kindergarten classrooms. The teachers use educational apps interactively to reinforce letter recognition and sounds, reading one- and two-vowel words, and words with special sounds. The students also review numbers and sequencing, colors, and patterns. With the interactive board, they can practice writing letters and words properly. Our resources are unlimited with this new technology in our classroom.

Technology today is such an intricate part of our daily lives, and our students have taken to our new board like a sponge to water. It has been a very effective asset to our students’ daily learning.

Promethean is a company founded in Georgia that has specifically targeted the lower age levels of students with hardware and software that work in developmentally appropriate ways with younger students. The Promethean board we have lets students interact by touch with fingers creating a natural way for students to interact.

Fourth Grade Using New Technology in Classroom

Brad Hobbs, ordained pastor and son of Ann Hobbs, talked to Mrs. Hobbs’ fourth grade class about Bible translations of the New Testament via Zoom Room today.

At SCA, we connect with the world using state of the art technology as we reinforce biblical principles. We are “breaking the fourth wall” with technology. Thank you to our Technology Director, Vicki Davis, for helping to make this happen!