Exploration, production, and creativity

The Middle School Educational Technology experience is based on expanding the foundational skills students learn in the Lower School. Using laptop computers with teacher guidance, students are encouraged to explore other significant technology within a wide range of digital applications that enhance production, promote creativity, and demonstrate learning. As students progress through Middle School, they continually refine their skills and move toward independence in the identification of applications. The goal is to help students become self-sufficient, productive, and thoughtful digital citizens in their academic and extracurricular activities. Through this framework, critical thinking, analysis, and presentation skills are also improved as they prepare for more advanced Upper School challenges.

Foundational skills
  • Cloud collaboration apps;
  • Graphics;
  • Video and digital photo story;
  • Digital audio editing;
  • Graphic organization;
  • Brainstorm and organizational tools;
  • Research platforms;
  • Subscription-based learning reinforcement;
  • Visual programming language and robotics;
  • Database query and information organization;
  • Stop motion animation;
  • Website creation.
Project examples
  • G Suite for cloud-based collaboration, communication, storage, and/or creation in all classes;
  • Photoshop fundamentals in Graphics Block;
  • Canva to produce large-format French landmark posters;
  • iMovie and GarageBand to create music videos in Wit n’ Skit Block;
  • StoryboardThat for simple-dialogue comic strips in Spanish;
  • MindMup for mind-mapping character development in English;
  • NoodleTools to organize notes and citations for an Ancient History research paper;
  • IXL for learning reinforcement exercises in the math program;
  • NXT for Lego programming in Robotics Block;
  • Scratch to introduce visual programming during Hour of Code;
  • Social Explorer to extract demographic data in Geography and World Cultures;
  • Animate it! stop motion to show chemical bonds in Physical Science;
  • Weebly for interactive drug websites in science.
Device overview
The Middle School program provides students access to technology while being mindful of the need to balance screen time and promote unplugged student interactions. All classrooms utilize mobile laptop carts providing an in-house, 1:1 technology setting. To that end, students do not bring their own devices to school.

Although the Middle School uses MacBook Air computers, students may use any platform at home. We encourage the use of cloud-based apps whenever possible, and many projects are not application specific, making the choice of home technology flexible.

Questions?

If you have additional questions regarding Middle School technology, contact Kelly Ward, Middle School technology integration specialist.
Polytechnic School | 1030 East California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106 | Phone 626.396.6300 | Fax 626.796.2249
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