• Poly Prep
Our Program

Technology

21st Century Technology: Our Vision

The aim of the technology department at Poly Prep Country Day School is to provide students with the necessary tools for achieving the curricular goals of Poly Prep. Additionally, we teach students how to use technology in ways that will help them successfully function in a knowledge economy.

Aligning with Poly’s mission to “prepare and inspire the next diverse generation of leaders and global citizens to act with intelligence, imagination and—above all—character,” the technology department offers the systems needed to help students to grow and flourish as digital citizens in an increasingly connected world.

Middle School iPad Program

Poly Prep's Middle School students continue to benefit from an expanded and innovative iPad program. 

For the 2014-15 academic year, all Middle School students receive iPads in 5th through 8th grade. (Fifth graders use their iPads solely on campus; while 6th-8th graders use them both at school and at home.)  Poly's Middle School has ensured the careful and steady growth of our iPad program—and its integration into all aspects of our curriculum—via ongoing teacher professional development and enhanced technological support.

We are very excited at the expansion of iPad use in the Middle School. We believe the program encourages our students in the areas of technological literacy, adaptability, and curiosity. At Poly, we are always seeking new ways to teach and for students to learn in the classroom.

Technology Infrastructure

Classrooms
All of the classrooms at Poly are currently outfitted with projectors for faculty to use multimedia in their classes. The majority of classrooms are set up with interactive whiteboards as well, allowing teachers to incorporate media into their lessons and activities, as well as allowing the faculty to save their notes for student use. Other classroom technologies include, but are not limited to document cameras, networked resources and computer-integrated scientific instruments for Upper School subjects such as physics and biology.

Language Lab
Listening, speaking, and conversation are essential to learning world languages. The Ralph J. Hererros Language Lab provides students access to language databases, online videos and recordings, and instructional material created by their teachers. Through the use of the teacher station, teachers can monitor and control each student computer, ensuring that students receive timely feedback as they listen and work on world language assignments. 

Note: To explore our World Languages curriculum, click here

Common Computing Space

Poly Prep Country Day School has four labs outfitted with technology, as well as six computers in our library dedicated to student use. A Math lab is outfitted with 24 Dell PCs and is used for classroom work in our Upper School Math courses. A Language Lab is outfitted with 24 Dell PCs and is used for language instruction and assessment by our Language Lab. The remaining two labs are common use labs, and are dedicated to both classroom and student use. One lab is outfitted with 12 Dell PCs and the other is outfitted with 18 iMac Desktops. These labs are frequently updated to provide students with current technology; all are set up with our full suite of available software so that students can work regardless of their class.

Wifi
Both Poly Prep campuses are set up for wireless network access in all buildings and classrooms.  Protected wireless networks allow students to access network resources while using Poly Prep computers.  An open guest network allows students to connect their own personal devices for limited access to the Internet and email.

List of 3 items.

  • Laptops

    The technology department manages a fleet of 182 Mac and PC laptops to provide students with access to the latest technologies. These laptops are used for learning support, delivering presentations and student classwork. Any class can request the use of these laptops at any time, and several of these computers are available for students to borrow from our library.

    Students are not required to bring laptops to campus, but it is strongly suggested that they have access to a computer at home. Upper School students may bring their own laptops on campus, and can connect to Poly’s guest wireless network provided they meet basic requirements, such as up-to-date virus protection. Middle School students are not currently allowed to bring their own laptops on campus, but they will be provided with Poly laptops in class when necessary. All students can borrow laptops for on-campus work from our library, or from our new Learning Center with permission.
  • Software & Programs

    Software

    The technology department obtains the latest versions of software used in our classrooms, in addition to software that will be important for students in college and beyond. For example, students have access to the latest versions of Microsoft Office, the Adobe CS suite, Geometer’s Sketchpad, and many more.  We frequently add software that assists students in attaining the curricular goals of Poly Prep and make these available for all students to use and learn.

    Google Apps for Education 

    Google Apps for Education is Google’s suite of collaborative online document, calendaring and website tools.  Used in the classroom, this suite gives students ubiquitous access to their content and presents the opportunity for real-time collaborative group work.  Teachers also use this suite to communicate assignments and announcements to students, and to provide students with a place to retrieve necessary documents and materials.

    Email

    All students in the Middle and Upper School are given a Poly Prep email address.  This mailbox is managed by the technology department, and allows students a fast and reliable method for communicating with their teachers and fellow students.  These mailboxes can be accessed anywhere online, or through a student’s personal mobile device, with the assistance of the technology department.  In addition to using these email addresses for internal communications, Upper School students frequently use their address to communicate outside of Poly, such as with various organizations for volunteer and charitable opportunities as well as colleges during the application process.
  • Middle School Computer Clubs

    The Middle School currently has an after school robotics club that is open for students in grades 6 through 8.  Students in this club spend their time building and programming robots using Lego’s NXT robotics kits. This club aims to demonstrate the importance of building and creating to the students, as well as provide a place where the students can be creative with technology.

    Additionally, we offer Tech Squad, a computer club that teaches study how to troubleshoot tech issues and build computers from scratch.

    Finally, 5th and 6th grades may participate in a computer programming club.

Poly is Innovative Learning and Teaching!

List of 3 items.

  • Our Mission, New Technology & 21st Century Skills

    In the fall of 2012, while we launched our iPad pilot program for the sixth-grade, our students and teachers explored the use of the iPad in the classroom. Rigorous assessments by the Middle School, and positive feedback from students and teachers, have led us to expand the program.  We believe the adoption of the iPad and its associated software “apps” has substantially enhanced our students’ academic experiences across all disciplines.
     
    Specifically, integrating iPads into our Middle School classrooms will help to support the school’s goals to encourage 21st-century skills as defined by the Partnership for 21st-Century Skills (P21) with the four C’s: 1) Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, 2) Communication, 3) Collaboration, and 4) Creativity and Innovation. 

    Rather than eliminating other teaching tool such as textbooks, they have expanded the menu teachers can choose from, enabling different forms of collaboration in the classroom and beyond, and motivating students in new ways. For example, through the use of i-Pads, our students have engaged in new ways of learning such as: documenting cell stages with the iPad camera; using applications such as Socrative to document student learning through a virtual teaching room; creating videos in language classes to assess pronunciation and comprehension; developing organized note-taking skills while using e-books; and using an i-book to supplement the grade 6 mathematics program.
     
    Indeed, we believe that, in keeping with Poly’s mission, the Middle School’s new, expanded iPad program will further enhance our students’ abilities “to become the next diverse group of leaders and global citizens.”
  • Enhanced Computer Science Curriculum

    Expanded 5th and 6th Grade Technology Curriculum
      
    With the iPad program, we will offer a weekly, year-long computer class for all 5th graders.  Our goal will also be to give fifth graders a solid foundation of computer skills and introduce them to the programs they will use with their iPads and with other computing tools at Poly. We will focus on the “why” as well as the “how,” providing each fifth grader with a systemic introduction to modern computing and software, and stressing the importance of being good digital citizens, including an understanding of how to behave towards others online, plagiarism, and Internet safety. Moreover, our new 5th Grade course will give students a solid foundation in how to use Google APPs, Excel, email, Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint and how to navigate and create websites.
     
    New Online Student Portfolios

    In another innovative enhancement, the Middle School has also created a template for Poly Middle Schoolers to establish online portfolios of their work.  We envision that students will begin in fifth grade to place work they have created digitally—videos, PowerPoint presentations, research papers, photos—in an online portfolio, which they can add to and show others throughout their entire Poly careers.
     
    Sixth Grade Computer Science Course
     
    We are also enhancing Poly’s Middle School computer science curriculum in the 6th grade to further our goals for technology learning and 21st-century skills. Our sixth grade technology course will meet once a week for the entire academic year. The course will introduce students to computer hardware, graphic design, video editing, animation, and computer programming. During the course, students will improve their ability to use a computer as a creative and problem-solving tool and explore in depth cutting-edge software applications. Of course, iPads, laptops, desktops, and other computing tools will play a big role in this 6th grade technology course, as well.
  • Faculty Professional Development

    To prepare for this innovative new iPad expansion, we have engaged all Middle School faculty in extensive professional development on the use of the iPads, discipline-specific software “apps,” iPad-based learning opportunities and collaborative projects, and modes of technology integration in the classroom.  We are also hiring additional technology staff and changing certain staff roles to support teachers and students in our expanded iPad program.  
     
    We also working with teachers and technology support at Poly’s Lower School to help transition our students into our Middle School’s fifth grade iPad program.
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