Since virtually every field—medicine, engineering, architecture, space exploration, film-making, and education, to name a few—relies on the effective use of technology, we believe that the integration of current technology, including library services, into the curriculum is vital to complete a preparatory education.
The school continually invests in its technology infrastructure and library resources to keep pace with technological advancements and provide faculty and students with state-of-the-art equipment. Each classroom is customized with the appropriate hardware and software to support the boys’ academic progress and the teaching styles of our faculty, and often include audio/visual systems, laptops, and Chromebooks. Because we are a Google Apps for Education school, each boy has an account that gives him unlimited access to the entire Google suite of productivity, communication, and collaboration tools.
The IDEA Lab contains a class set of MacBook Pro laptops and a full array of digital fabrication equipment, including a 3D printer, a vinyl cutter, laser cutter, and CNC router. The Library houses 16,000 titles and subscribes to daily newspapers, 11 electronic databases, and more than 60 periodicals. MacBook and Chromebook laptops are available for student use. Interactive whiteboards in classrooms further the integration of technology with the curriculum as do our introduction of iPads, Chromebooks, and MacBooks as teacher tools. Though the entire faculty has been trained extensively in the use of emerging technology, RL is well served by three full-time specialists who devote themselves to assisting masters and boys in the use of new resources. Every academic department incorporates technology and research tools into its program, as do most extracurricular activities. Modern language students use computers for interactive audio and visual assignments; math teachers rely on online problem solving and graphing tools; multimedia demonstrations in the history classrooms expose students to a sense of the place and time being studied (and provide concrete tools and tips on how to continue research); physics and chemistry students use technology to gather and analyze laboratory data and for online research; the Math-Science Investigations course utilizes the IDEA Lab to learn about computer-aided design, electronics, robotics, programming, and engineering. Using Blackbaud’s OnCampus, our next generation course management system, students access course syllabi and assignments, submit assignments, and join group discussions. Through our Library portal they can search for titles or access databases. All students, whether they are enrolled in a computer course or not, are provided with personal accounts on the school’s systems that they can access throughout the school. Our primary aim, through the courses described below, is to bring to our students the power of advanced technology and the competence to use it responsibly, creatively, and effectively.
Information Services Courses
Arts 10 Elective: Art and Technology
(Class III) Ever wonder how works of art and architecture were made? What the technology of the times was that allowed a massive dome to be built without collapsing, or a multi-ton block of marble to be excavated, moved and carved to smooth perfection? What about the technique behind Jackson Pollock’s (in)famous drip paintings? In this class students will study the technology behind art, examining the innovative engineering and technical practices that have led to the production over time and across cultures of extraordinary works in architecture, sculpture and painting. They will then try their own hand at creating similar works. The study of engineering and technology in the Math-Science Investigations course has provided Class IV boys with a solid foundation in problem-solving skills and related vocabulary which will be built upon in Art and Tech and combined with studio practice.
AP Computer Science
AP Computer Science, an elective for members of Class I and Class II, is an introductory course in computer science. Because the development of computer programs to solve problems is a skill fundamental to the study of computer science, a large part of the course is built around the development of computer programs or parts of programs that correctly solve a given problem. All programs are implemented using Java as the primary language. The course also emphasizes the design issues that make programs understandable, adaptable, and, when appropriate, reusable. At the same time, the development of useful computer programs and program modules is used as a context for introducing other important concepts in computer science, including the development and analysis of algorithms, the development and use of fundamental data structures, and the study of standard algorithms and typical applications. In addition, an understanding of the basic hardware and software components of computer systems and the responsible use of these systems are integral parts of the course. The course prepares students to take the AP Examination in Computer Science in May.
Science and Technology: Our 21st-Century World
Our 21st-Century World is one third of the Class VI course Science and Technology. In this rotation students will learn about our connected digital world and how they can be creative, productive, safe, and ethical citizens within it. Computers, personal devices, apps, and networks have become so easy to use that they no longer require much understanding of the way that they actually work. Learning about what is going on “under the hood” makes it possible for students to take fuller advantage of the technology and become creative producers—not simply consumers—in the digital realm, and to understand the risks of using technology. Students will learn about transistors, bits, and bytes, and move on to learn about programming languages and the ways in which they can control a computer. The boys will practice programming with simple LEGO EV3 robots and develop an understanding of basic algorithms and programming structures. They will learn about how information moves around a network, what the Internet is, and what web pages are, building their own simple page in the process. They will close the rotation with discussions of privacy, anonymity, critical consumption, fair use, and internet ethics.