Technology is an essential element of teaching and learning at Brooklyn Friends School. BFS emboldens its students to think critically about how they use and consume different technologies. Grounded in Quaker philosophy, our students ask why and not just how. This is a school where the most gifted writer or performer can also thrive as a computer programmer. With the success of the Lower School iPad initiative, the Middle School Chromebook program, the new state-of-the-art Upper School building, and the school’s focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) through 3D printing and design, BFS students have access to cutting-edge technologies on an everyday basis.
Technology is integrated into the curriculum in all grades. iPads are available at each grade level, and apps are thoughtfully chosen by teachers to ensure they are developmentally appropriate and pedagogically sound for use by our young students. Students use their iPads to create, collaborate, and sharpen their thinking skills.
Third and fourth grade students engage in technology classes on a weekly basis using both iPads and Chromebooks. Topics covered include digital citizenship, cloud computing, design thinking, 3D design and 3D printing, computational thinking, and augmented reality. We work closely with our librarians and classroom teachers to help students develop the research and technical skills necessary to navigate and understand the world of digital information.
We focus on a combination of exposure to age-appropriate technology, and education on how to manage the opportunities technology affords. All Middle School students are issued a Google Chromebook for use in all of their classes.
Technology is an integral part of Upper School life. From collaborating in Google Drive to producing podcasts in English and History to 3D printing in Physics, students engage with technology in multiple meaningful ways.
In technology classes, students practice applications of technology in their everyday lives as scholars, designers, and stewards. They develop fluency in information technology, media production, and algorithmic thinking. They engage with a range of technologies like 3D fabrication, physical computing, and creative software. By making use of the iterative design process, students build a portfolio of context-driven projects that make use of a wide range of technology including, but not limited to: arduino microcontrollers, 3D printing, and data visualizations. Discussions about technology within historical and social justice contexts provide additional considerations for students to be responsible and innovative technologists.