Technology has become an integral part of our lives; it provides tools for learning, productivity, connecting to others, and enriching our lives in many other ways. As a learning tool, technology can make a measurable difference in student interest, achievement, and attitudes. At Brookwood, students have a wealth of technological resources to assist them, as well as instruction in how to use these resources effectively and ethically. They develop the understanding that they can master new tools as they arise and empowered to play an active role in their own learning.
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Brookwood students learn by doing. In addition to the hundreds of available computers found throughout the school, all Middle and Upper School classrooms and science and music classrooms have interactive Smartboards connected to computers or AppleTVs, along with projectors. iPads, iPods, 3-D printers, digital cameras, wireless networks, award-winning software and productivity software tools are used to support curriculum and learning across all grades. Among other endeavors, students create podcasts of their creative writing, assemble voice threads online for collaborative art and poetry projects, develop videos projects with iPads, and have an opportunity to practice design thinking using electronics. Brookwood Middle and Upper School students use Google Apps accounts and create Three Ring digital portfolios. These are but a few of the uses of technology at Brookwood.
The development of excellent keyboarding skills is also central to the technology effort at Brookwood. Brookwood has a unique keyboarding program, now entering its seventeenth year of use. Students use the Mavis Beacon keyboarding program to learn to type without looking at the keys. By the end of the fifth grade, the class average for all fifth grade students has been about 35 words per minute or higher for the last six years. Through collaborative research with a Harvard child psychologist, we have learned that as a result of our early learning keyboarding program, our students’ writing skills have shown measureable signs of improvement in quality and length, as well as increased editing.
Upon graduating, students have learned basic and advanced word processing techniques, as well as how to use spreadsheets, to work collaboratively online, to manage information on a computer, to effectively search for information using Google, to develop effective multimedia presentations through a variety of apps and media, to manipulate graphics, and to use the Internet effectively, safely, and ethically.
In addition to several computer labs, Brookwood has many laptop and iPad carts, several 3-D printers, a managed wireless network and broadband Internet access, digital cameras, scanners, robotics, and many award-winning software titles. Supervised and filtered broadband Internet access is available everywhere including outside across much of Brookwood's property. The Eleanor M. DiCroce Library houses an eighteen-computer reference area, online library card catalog, as well as Internet access to more than 25 local town library card catalogs. In addition and in support of Brookwood's commitment to cultural competency, Brookwood utilizes numerous online blogs, video and sound hosting services. For example, visit Brookwood's Global Classroom used by teachers to stay connected to our students when they travel. Or visit, Brookwood's online forum titled The Other Side of the Mason-Dixon Line for dialogue between Brookwood seventh graders and seventh graders at the Battle Ground Academy in Tennessee.
While Brookwood strongly supports the use of technological resources in its continuing commitment to children, we believe that it is a balance of teaching and curriculum that directs the most appropriate use of technology in meeting the needs of our students.
Technology Curricular Goals
In general, the Technology Department seeks to have Brookwood Students:
Grade Level Curricular Goals and Focal Points
At each respective grade level, our goal is to have students: