Integrity - Service - Merit
At ISM we believe that students are best served by technology when it is integrated into their learning environment and used thoughtfully to engage and promote effective learning. All students in Grades 7 to 12 are required to “Bring Their Own Device” (BYOD) to support this effort, and on campus 1:1 device access is provided in the 5th and 6th grade core subject classes. Wi-Fi is provided school wide through an appropriately protected and monitored student network login.
The Middle School Design and Technology curriculum focuses on the key areas of: technology use and competency; cyber safety in online choices; and the integration of technology into the process and presentation of learning. Following a concept-based teaching and learning model, ISM encourages students to focus on the meaning and purpose behind technology use, and to think critically about how this informs their day-to-day lives as learners and members of the community. An emphasis is placed on the understanding of Web 2.0 applications, appropriate online behavior, the exploration of fundamental skills in editing digital media, data management and the application of multimedia resources to demonstrate understanding.
In Grade 5 and 6, students further their understanding of collaborative tools such as Google Docs and Google Slides; develop organizational habits through the use of learning management systems such as Google Classroom; and are exposed to the use of technology for media production through the availability of class Chromebooks, iPads and associated media software production tools. In addition to the use of technology tools, students investigate online educational resources, are taught internet search strategies, and begin a four year cyber safety curriculum through their Wellness classes. Students in Grade 5 have the opportunity to enroll in the IT iLearn elective course. Students in Grade 6 have the opportunity to enroll in the IT iDesign elective course.
In Grades 7 and 8, students enter the BYOD program and focus on how to leverage technology to further their learning goals. In doing so they gain a depth of understanding of how to use technology in more independent environments and how to manage their work and social time effectively. Through the access to their own personal laptops, students have the ability to collaborate with each other, both at school and at home.
All Design and Technology courses are informed by the ISTE NETS standards and aim to involve students in learning environments that allow them to pursue their own interests in-line with the Middle School concept-based teaching and learning methodology.
Students acquire foundational skills and experience activities and tools to enhance production and efficiency in regular classes. Students are introduced to online collaborative tools and become adept at managing his/her school work and resources. Online safety is discussed as well as exposure to a vast amount of digital educational resources. Audio manipulation and movie production allow for students to express their learning creatively. Students leave the course with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge and experience with a wide range of technology applications.
iDesign allows students to explore the design cycle of investigation, planning, creation and testing. Students have the opportunity to explore and experiment with various creative software applications, focus and develop an idea or product, and through presentation and peer evaluation, modify their designs and creations. The iDesign curriculum explores online video creation and publishing, animation, 3D modeling, and photo Manipulation and editing. Students will demonstrate learning through the use of an e-portfolio. Finished projects and reflections on learning will be included in the e-portfolio.
Innovation Technology ensures students acquire the basic skills in presentation design, multimedia publishing, video production, digital imagery (Photoshop) and game design/coding- with an opportunity for in-depth expertise based on student interests. As much as possible, projects are student inspired and integrated with other classes. Student products will be published to a wide audience in various forms (YouTube, blogs, posters, class presentations) and personal progress chronicled in student e-portfolio websites. Students will propose, design and produce an integrated self-study project (Quest Project) to further develop their skills, interests and expertise in one or more areas previously covered in the course.
This is a problem solving based course in which students will work primarily in teams to design, build and program robots. Each group of students will be required to program their respective robots to solve the ten Carnegie Mellon Obstacle Challenges. The main hardware for the robots will be EV3 Lego Mindstorms, which uses both LEGO materials and computer programming software. Students also learn how to block program sensors including touch, sound, light, ultrasonic and gyroscopic. Creativity, teamwork and critical thinking will be necessary to solve the obstacle challenges through the design, investigation, building, testing, redesigning and reflection. No prior programming experience is necessary.
Advanced Robotics continues to challenge students to refine their programmatic skills by engaging them in realistic real world programming projects. Students learn advanced programming techniques to program their own Etch-A-Sketch, Rubic’s Cube Solver and other projects of their choosing. The hardware used is the EV3 Lego Mindstorms and students are also introduced to RobotC line coding for the first time. Students learn the fundamentals of developing and compiling line code for the first time as well as the use of subroutines and include libraries. They also learn how to program sensors including touch, sound, light, ultrasonic and encoders.
The integration of Information Technology in the Middle School division places a strong emphasis on developing computer skills across all subject areas. Middle School technology integrators and teachers employ a variety of teaching strategies including auditory, visual and kinesthetic approaches to using technology tools. Within these modalities, teachers undertake discussions of the subject matter, demonstration lessons to augment and supplement discussions, and the performance of hands-on activities to reinforce the first two levels. Based on this, students are encouraged to use technology to construct their learning and assist in their knowledge development when appropriate. Cooperative learning activities and student-led presentations further typify the teaching-learning interaction and areas where students use technology to represent themselves. An example of this is the e-portfolio initiative where students maintain a digital portfolio of their work across classes and that represents their learning and progress in the subjects over the year.
In addition to the BYOD program, students have access to computer laboratories, laptop and iPad carts, and an array of other technology tools including the Adobe Suite and Google Apps for Education learning management platform. Students use these and other resources for Internet access (including webmail/email), word-processing, multimedia presentations and lesson supplements as well as subject specific technology uses.