Doane Academy is deeply committed to utilizing technology in classrooms to increase students engagement.
We view technology as a tool – one of many – that we use to create better teaching and produce stronger students. To this end, we provide our students and teachers with a range of technology resources, including the following:
- We recently completed a major investment in the technology infrastructure of our buildings, resulting in strong and more reliable wireless coverage throughout our campus.
- Each of our classrooms is equipped with wireless LCD projectors and screens.
- The Newbold Student Resource Center provides students with state-of-the-art Apple desktop computers, a supply of Google Chromebooks, and AppleTV for collaborative learning projects.
- We provide teachers with Chromebooks and laptop computers whenever necessary to undertake a technology-driven classroom project.
Some specific examples of our use of technology include the following:
- Lower School students are introduced to technology and in doing so learn the basic of keyboarding and the use of various software packages. This work culminates in the production of PowerPoint presentations that utilize the various skills students develop over the course of their year.
- Our middle school students make use of technology in their regular course work that complements what they learn in lower school and prepares them for more sophisticated uses of technology in the upper school. All 7th and 8th grade students are taught the basics of programming using the LEGO EV3 robots.
- All of our students – from Primary through grade 12 -- have access to numerous research databases and a virtual reference libraries, which they use for research projects across the curriculum.
- Our recently installed Maker Space classroom is equipped with 3D Printers. Students in our upper school Innovative Design class have used these printers to create parts for their design prototypes. Examples of printed parts include gears and a drive shaft for a motorized longboard, a curved wing assembly for a PVC rocket, and a rotating frame for an automated medicine dispenser.
- In Physics, students wrap up their exploration of Energy by designing and "testing" roller coasters. Using the parameters given to them by their teacher, students build a mathematical model of a roller coaster in Google Sheets. They then build the same roller coaster in the video game "Roller Coaster Tycoon 3" and compare their calculated model's results to those the game outputs. After analyzing the data, they write a summary explaining where they made errors and where they believe the game's physics engine is incorrect. They also film promotional commercials for their roller coaster and host the videos on YouTube.
- In Engineering Mechanics, students design balsa wood bridges to hold the greatest load while also being the lightest weight. After creating a 2D mathematical model of their truss bridge, they then use Trimble SketchUp, a computer-assisted drawing software (CAD), to model their bridge in 3D before attempting to build it.
- In Pre-Calculus, students make use of the Desmos online calculator to create graphical art as a culminating project that incorporates all the graphing assignments they've done in the high school mathematics courses. Most students then use their graphed art piece in Desmos to create a physical version of it. Last year, one of our students used over 200 equations to create an R2-D2. See her finished product (and view the underlying equations) here: https://www.desmos.com/calculator/im3g0syay1
In order to maximize the value of technology in our classrooms, our Technology Integrator works with teachers and students to promote the best uses of technology.
While emphasizing the use of technology, we also encourage our students to be good digital citizens. Our Digital Media and Programming cycle courses include units to engage students in critical debate and discussion about their "digital footprint" (7th grade) and online bullying (8th grade). These lessons continue to be reinforced in the upper school, where our Strong Ethical Leadership classes address a range of topics involving technology. In addition, our 9th graders study the issue of digital citizenship in their composition generation unit. We believe that incorporating technology into one’s education carries with it a requirement to learn how to use technology responsibly, both in the classroom and outside of school. Our curriculum reflects this important mission.