The program at the Middle School gives students valuable technical skills and enables them to put their abilities to use with the resources in our campus network. Much of the coursework relates directly to projects in other disciplines so that students can apply their learning. At the same time, students are often involved in computer science projects and exercises that remain exclusively within the domain of this discipline. At the end of the two-year curriculum, students emerge as confident users of information technology software, hardware, and network resources and are ready to use these tools in meeting future academic challenges. We maintain three laptop carts to support teachers and students with in-class assignments and projects.
In the fifth grade, computer education begins by introducing students to the school network and familiarizing them with skills such as using a network printer, saving files on the school server, and accessing school email from remote locations. Once students gain proficiency in these basic tasks, they learn more of the intricacies of Macintosh computers as well as productivity software such as Microsoft Office. Students complete their first year of computer training with several research projects involving various Internet search engines.
After a review of skills acquired in the fifth grade, the sixth grade computer education program is integrated with the Hudson River Valley focus of study. The first major project, a biography, draws on a variety of computer skills with programs including Microsoft Word, Photoshop, PowerPoint, and Internet research. The course also introduces students to digital cameras and scanners. Subsequent projects involving the Hudson River curriculum reinforce these skills, giving students a solid level of comfort with their technical abilities.