In our fast-changing world, understanding and using technology is essential. We recognize the ongoing evolution of computers and their role in our lives. To that end, our technology program is always evolving and being updated. It includes not just formal computer programming education but also digital citizenship and responsibility. To support our program, we have an onsite Educational Technology Specialist and a makerspace teacher, who teach computer classes as well as work with teachers to integrate technology across the broader curriculum.
Coding and robotics are integrated into class starting in Kindergarten. Students begin taking more formal computer classes in fourth grade and continue through middle school. At the fourth grade level, the focus is on foundational computer skills: touch typing, word processing, creating slide shows, and the beginning of safe internet usage. In fifth grade, students begin learning Google Drive and Google Apps. They learn the basic building blocks of coding and some digital citizenship, to help them stay safe on the internet. The coding curriculum expands in the sixth grade, with the introduction of Scratch. In sixth grade they also do some creative projects such as animated cartoons and image manipulation. Seventh graders build on their previous skills with more extensive coding, video production, research techniques and data graphing, extensively integrating with their other classes. Eighth graders have the option of participating in an advanced coding elective.
Technology at Yeshiva Har Torah is integrated across the curriculum in all grades through, among other things, the use of Chromebooks and iPads in regular classrooms and the Gruss Computer Lab. An example of a typical project involves second and third graders tracking imaginary sales using Google Sheets, and uploading their data to a website that they create using Google Sites. Fourth graders create online posters about famous explorers, and eighth graders take quizzes using Chromebooks in the classroom. Middle school students at Yeshiva Har Torah also use Google Classroom as a means of communication and completing and submitting assignments. In addition, students in Grades K-4 have coding, robotics, building Rube Goldberg machine building, and droning options, among many other things, through our After School Program.