Lower School Technology
The groundwork for successful technology integration at The Albany Academies is created in the classrooms of the Lower School. Children are supported in exploring the resources of the Internet as well as using applications to demonstrate and expand their learning.
Basic technology skills are introduced and reinforced through application in student driven projects.
Middle School Technology
Starting in Middle School, students are required to use standard office applications to complete their school work. In Fifth & Sixth Grade, students are introduced to “cloud” computing and use web-based tools to write documents, create presentations and explore mathematical and scientific concepts through spreadsheets.
Students also use these tools, working in teams, to learn 21st century collaboration skills, an increasingly important approach to solving problems in contemporary workplaces and academic institutions. Exploiting the powerful learning potential of so-called Web 2.0 tools is a fundamental aspect of the Academy’s technology integration program.
Graduates of the Middle School Technology program have software decoding skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. They learn how to "sight read" software programs in order to begin using them effectively and quickly.
In Seventh Grade the students build their Portfolio Website, a complex collection of their academic work across the curriculum. This signature project is updated and upgraded throughout the rest of the students' Academies career. The Portfolio Website provides a mechanism for students to track and reflect upon their progress and maturity through all aspects of their Academies experience.
In Eighth Grade the students learn the fundamentals of computational thinking by coding games. This engaging curriculum uses Scratch to program stories, music videos, animations and simple games.
Upper School Technology
The Upper School offers courses in Website Design, AP Computer Programming, Game Design, Software Engineering and Mobile App programming. While these courses offer students the opportunity to build sophisticated computer programming skills, the philosophy of the Academy is not to teach technology solely for technology’s sake.
Tools and applications are used across the curriculum as a backbone for multidisciplinary learning initiatives. Students have the opportunity to display their knowledge of literature, history, mathematics and science by linking these subjects in creative technology-supported projects that become teaching tools unto themselves.
As the skills built in the Lower & Middle Schools blossom in the Upper School, students will be tasked with pushing their digital wizardry to new levels. An emphasis is placed upon creating distinguished Upper School work, not with software flash and tricks, but rather through a thoughtful and purposeful use of the Design Process where the correct tools are used to create projects that weave solid academic work into powerful displays of cross-curricular knowledge.
Once again students' Portfolio Websites provide evidence of academic learning, application of technology skills and student progress.