Educate, Create, Collaborate, Innovate
Technology is not only rapidly evolving, it is changing the way we teach and the way children learn. At Harbor Day School, we want to prepare our students for the future. Although we do not know exactly what the future will look like, we do know that students and the workforce will always need to arrive at intelligent, thoughtful solutions to an increasingly diverse set of problems. Our students have an empathy-based, human-centered, creative approach to problem solving. The goal of the technology department is to provide both the technological as well as pedagogical support for this.
The technology department works with faculty and students to create an environment that is conducive to learning. We introduce coding, robotics and making, and support their use with the Design Thinking process. This process is iterative and allows students to fail, learn, and repeat until they are successful. Beginning with Bee-bots and Kodable in grades kindergarten through second, students learn the basics of computer commands. Soon they move onto Robotics, Scratch programming, and 3D printing, where they learn how to problem solve and work together to find solutions. Coding and making go hand-in-hand in the Harbor Day curriculum. Students code early on using simple instructions in the Kodable app. They transition into block- based code, then eventually move onto text-based instructional code. During this time, they are simultaneously working on building and making. Ultimately, they marry the coding with the making and learn to control devices with code in various forms of robotics. Harbor Day students go on to participate and win in competitions such as AppJam+, an application-making competition held at UC Irvine. Students have the tools to create and the skills to apply their knowledge!
Students in the lower school have 1:1 access to iPads and are taught to use apps that allow them to create media like instructional videos and eBooks. Students are encouraged to produce work, document that work, and share it with others. This provides an opportunity for feedback to learn and improve on the next time they create. Simultaneously, they are creating a portfolio that they will carry with them throughout their experience at Harbor Day School and beyond. Upper school students create and problem solve using wood, straws, cardboard, duct tape, 3D printers, Arduinos, motors, and sensors. They are taught to design, model, prototype, test, fail, and iterate so that they learn from their mistakes and move forward – the concept of Design Thinking.
Harbor Day’s technology program seeks to teach our faculty and students how to think outside of their comfort zone and how to learn to adapt and develop new thinking processes to address the problems that they will face tomorrow.