At Oak Hill School, we seek to integrate technology into the classroom and into everyday life at the school in ways that are appropriate and which enhance learning and community.
In the Lower School, students regularly use a variety of computers, tablets, and software in their classrooms as well as participating in weekly formal computer classes in the Tech Center.
The technology program for the Lower School has two primary goals.
First, we seek to ensure that students leave the Lower School with a mastery of a range of essential computer skills and applications.
From fluency with keyboarding to mastery of email and web browsers and word processors and desktop publishing and spreadsheets. Our intention is for computers and common applications to be as familiar to students as a pencil or a book, and, as they enter the Upper School, for them to be tools that they have mastered, like writing in cursive or doing multiplication. While our focus is increasingly on the next generation of cloud based applications, students have an opportunity to work with a variety of operating systems (Microsoft Windows 10, Apple macOS, and Debian Linux) and computer applications, including not only Google G Suite, but also Microsoft Office, Apple iWork, and OpenOffice/LibreOffice. We believe that it is essential for students to know, not merely how to use, for example, a Chromebook to write and share a document in Google Docs, but rather to be comfortable and proficient enough with computers and applications in general that they can use a computer, any computer, to type and save and print a document using whatever word processor happens to be available.
Next, we work to introduce students to as many different kinds of computer applications as we can.
From animation to computer graphics to photography and video to CAD to programming. We do not expect that every student will be enthusiastic about every application – although most are – but we hope that some students will find a passion, something that thrills them, something that they want to pursue. We use cloud based or cross platform and free, open source applications for these projects whenever possible, so that, if a student finds that he or she absolutely loves programming, for example, parents can easily visit the Scratch web site or install whatever application we are using in class, so that the student can continue to learn and explore on his or her own.