All students at Dawson enjoy a rigorous and adventurous study of technology. Our approach is multidisciplinary, and collaborative with core subjects taught in the classroom. Our technology curriculum is focused on five primary areas:
Foundational Technology Skills - Computer and iPad use, word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, keyboarding, and general technology literacy
Coding - software programming
Engineering and Design - electronics, 3D modeling/printing, prototyping
Robotics - design, construction, operation, and application of robots
Digital Media - photography, video, audio, learning portfolios and reflections
Members of the Technology Department works with classroom teachers on collaborative grade level projects using technology. We believe that the best learning environment is one of application. We strive to create authentic conditions for technology application and learning.
Students in grades 6-12 have access to two computer labs that run both Mac and Windows operating systems and two mobile labs of Mac laptops. There is a dedicated Arts lab in the Arts Center. These labs provide access to software including Microsoft Office and iWork applications, the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of creative tools, Solidworks, 123Design, and Blender for 3D modeling, and programming IDEs. Students also have access to our 3D printers and a laser engraver.
Technology in Upper School
Ninth through twelfth grade students will use integrated technology tools across multiple subjects. Members of the technology department will work with teachers to identify and apply relevant tools within their course plans. In addition, students have several technology elective options including digital art, graphic design, robotics club, engineering, and multiple levels of programming classes.
Upper School students are required to bring a mobile device (tablet or laptop) to school each day. This will give students ubiquitous access to our Dawson Wireless high-speed network, email accounts, and our new Learning Management System (LMS) through our new dawsonschool.org
web portal. All courses will have online components in the new LMS. Students will be able to track assignments, contribute in discussion groups, turn in projects, collaborate with peers, and access course material from their devices in the LMS.
Technology in Middle School
Students in Middle School, are provided a MacBook Air for use as one of their daily school supplies. All sixth through eighth grade students take part in an enrichment course, throughout the year, that focuses on fundamental technology skills and provides a project based opportunity for students to learn and improve their expertise. These courses will teach students about appropriate uses of digital communication, organizational techniques and tools, and problem solving. Students have several technology elective options including a digital art class, as well as a creative exploration course.
Technology in Lower School
We are committed to design as an essential skill for all students, and as a required component in today’s modern workplace. Consequently, we believe in using “design thinking” models to guide student work - particularly in the area of engineering. Currently, we’re using a modified design thinking model based on the work of the Stanford Design School. Design thinking is a time-tested process for finding creative and effective solutions to any problem. It allows the student to be self-directed, and enhances skills in creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. We want students to understand that using technology is an iterative process, and they must embrace failure as a means to eventual success.
Students receive technology instruction on a weekly basis. In addition to technology classes, the Technology Specialist works with classroom teachers on collaborative grade level projects using technology. We believe that the best learning environment is one of application. We strive to create authentic conditions for technology application and learning.