Our students live in a brave new world of technology saturation. In order to meet the challenges of our tech-rich world, Waterford requires its students to engage with technology at a deep level. By the time students graduate, they will be skilled users of computer devices and software, and also understand the basics of how to write computer programming code.
Waterford teaches Class IV and Class V students how to program in Scratch (an MIT tool for introducing programming to kids). As students move into Middle School, the kid-friendly graphical tools are gradually supplemented by text-based code. All Class VII students begin to write simple programs in Python, a popular programming language with loads of practical applications across many disciplines. Upper School students currently have opportunities to learn Java, PHP, UNITY, HTML, and more.
Beyond the expanding array of programming opportunities at Waterford, technology plays a meaningful role in many parts of the Middle and Upper Schools curriculum. Graphing calculators or apps help students visualize the implications of mathematical functions. Sensors of various kinds, in combination with appropriate software, help students master abstract concepts in the sciences. Spreadsheets help students manipulate and learn from data. Word processing facilitates skill with the writing process. Waterford students need to use technological tools to be fully prepared college applicants and fully competent lifelong learners.
Waterford will provide Middle School students with a school-managed Chromebook. Upper School students are required to bring a personal computer to campus. A laptop today is like a book or a notepad, a crucial learning tool that, when used wisely, can facilitate deep learning across many disciplines. Technology is used when appropriate, but intentionally put away at times in order to make a place for the human, both in body and soul. Waterford strives to teach and guide and counsel students on responsible technology use to ensure that wisdom grows along with skill.