The week of Dec. 12, when older girls were slaving over exams, the 7th Grade participated in three days of rotating technology sessions in the ARC as an introduction to their new and improved second semester Technology Tools class.
In past years, seventh graders took an introductory technology course called Digital Media for a full quarter. However, due to the fact that some students were not encountering useful information until the fourth quarter, when Director of Middle School Robert Bryan felt that it was too late in the year to use any of the skills learned, the class has been shortened to one month.
With an updated curriculum designed and taught by Bryan, Librarian and 7th Grade Level Dean Nichole Gomez, Associate Director of Academic Technology Victor Ortiz, School Counselor Emily Vaughn, Visual Arts instructor Josh Deu and Director of Academic and Administrative Technology Stuart Posin, Technology Tools aims to teach seventh graders how to use numerous computer programs, including NoodleBib and Photoshop, as well as Haiku LMS, the School’s online learning management system.
“The log-in process was kind of confusing,” Brielle ’17 said, referring to Haiku.
While Digital Media involved small projects, each of which worked with a different tool, the new class introduces the tools through one overarching project in which the girls collaborate to campaign for a social issue.
The first week of Technology Tools is spent introducing the social issues students can choose to focus on (such as eating disorders or bullying) and learning how to do research. Students also practice graphic design by creating concept maps with Bubbl.us, a site where students can make virtual bubble clusters, and either a PowerPoint presentation with voice-over (the first rotation) or an interactive campaign poster on Glogster (the later three).
“Bubbl.us is so fun,” Sophia ’17 said. Sophia described the class as “very helpful.”
Students spent exam week being introduced to many of the tools that would come up in the class. Additionally, Associate Director of Administrative Technology Ida Dahan and Community Outreach Coordinator Miranda Payne evaluated their current state of knowledge and technology skills, and Vaughn and Gomez delivered a lecture on cyber safety and privacy on the Internet.