Technology enhances our curriculum, promotes creativity, supports a variety of learning styles, and expands the information available to boys beyond what is available in textbooks.  Boys should have the necessary coding, problem-solving, and analytical skill to thrive in the twenty-first century.  Whether it’s kindergarteners creating graphic patterns on iPads or eighth graders assembling computers from scratch, boys here have ample opportunities to build these skills.  But technology should be used thoughtfully.  The best learning often happens, in the words of our founder, with the “contact of mind upon mind.”  Connecting to his teachers; turning pages; focusing on the written word free of distraction, and discussing and debating with classmates; these are important parts of each boy’s school day.  Technology is just one of many tools for effective teaching. 

Junior School

In Junior School, boys learn how to use the keyboard.  Touch-typing is practiced using the Type to Learn and Typing Pal programs.  Once the students have learned all the keys and are typing efficiently, they are taught how to formulate and edit reports and compositions.  They begin typing their journals, compositions, and poems in coordination with their homeroom teacher.  Boys in third grade create e-books, and by the end of the year they are well-prepared to process written work in Middle School.

Middle School

In Middle School boys use computers to assist with their writing, formatting compositions and learning to use the tools inherent in a good word processor.  The boys in grade IV are given access to Google Drive, an account on the school’s website, and school e-mail.

They are also introduced to Google Apps.  In grade V boys try their hands at gaming programming.  The boys are introduced to the Hour of Code and Scratch along with other programming software to design and code web games.  Grade VI boys spend time in the computer lab for guided research and for instruction in Google Documents and PowerPoint to complement the papers they write.

Upper School

Upper School technology focuses on programming and multimedia projects.  At the beginning of the seventh-grade year students choose either to study programming for the next two years or to take a more general applications class.  The general applications class begins with Minecraft, a sandlot-based program that encourages resource management and teamwork.  In the second term these boys use their Minecraft projects to incorporate into their 3D printing projects.  They also study the art of film making and editing.

By the end of their eighth-grade year each boy will have completed two three-minute videos.  Students who elect programming begin to focus on how the computer works at the level of Python programming.  They learn how the computer is organized, how the operating system works, and write their own programs to perform increasingly sophisticated tasks.  Boys spend the first part of the year building their own computers from individual components so that they get an understanding of how the hardware works.  In the second term, both eighth grade sections are combined for LEGO robotics class that culminates in an obstacle course competition.

Recent Technology Articles

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  • The Digital World of St. Bernard’s

    by Ms. Williams, Technology Integrator

    The Technology Department is working to unify St. Bernard’s traditional values with an ever-growing digital world.  Beginning in the Junior School, technology is integrated through purposeful activities that coincide with the curriculum.  St. Bernard’s boys are learning how to use technology responsibly and creatively.
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    In a friendly competition, St. B’s eighth grade boys were challenged to see who could produce the most effective commercial for some of the charities that St. Bernard’s supports.  Peter J., John R., and Will M. stole the show with their commercial advertising Project Cicero, an annual non-profit book drive designed to supplement libraries in under-resourced New York City public schools.
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    St. B’s Science/Technology Fair transformed the fifth floor on Monday, April 18, 2016.  There were magnets, lasers and mirrors, lasers and flour, computers built from scratch, and all sorts of computer coding used in a variety of ways.  Did you hear about the wind tunnel?  The wind tunnel was made from a leaf blower to test and measure the lift on custom-designed wing models.
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    This semester St. B’s offered its first class in 3D printing.  Ms. Oduro taught boys in grade VII how to use Tinkercad software to design 3D renderings that could then be printed out on the new 3D printers.  Boys designed three projects over the semester:  a shield, a building, and a free design.  The boys’ creativity shone through in all three projects.
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