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 have access to state-of-the-art Apple iMac computers and software in their classrooms and, beginning in the Second grade, weekly formal computer classes.
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 multipication. Students have an opportunity to work with a variety of operating systems (Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, and Ubuntu Linux) and computer applications, including not only Microsoft Office, but also Apple iWork and OpenOffice/LibreOffice. We believe that it is essential for students to know, not merely how to use, for example, Microsoft Windows 7 to type and save and print a document with Microsoft Word 2007 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.
In addition, 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 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 install Scratch, the application that we are using in class, so that the student can continue to learn and explore on his or her own.