Our vision is that all of our students will learn to manage digital tools in powerful and ethical ways to meet their educational goals and further their understanding of the world. We don’t load up on technology for technology’s sake; we work hard to ensure that the most effective and appropriate technology tools are available to even our youngest students. As a result, our students are savvy, informed, respectful technology users.
Our 1:1 laptop program at the middle and upper schools means that teachers can effectively incorporate apps, programs and other learning tools into their curricula. Our students are comfortable using tools for note-taking, educational games, labs, assignments, and communicating with teachers.
Some technology tools:
- Lower school students use Chromebooks, iPads and computer labs.
- Teachers use individual websites, Google Apps and Moodle.
- Many classrooms contain Smart Boards.
- The upper school human anatomy class uses a 3-D interactive cadaver dissection table and the math and robotics labs have 3-D printers.
- Our multimedia room at the upper school has a green screen for students to record video and audio podcasts, interviews, auditions and more.
- Our libraries have more than 90 databases and countless fiction and non-fiction e-books.
Our inquiry-based teaching approach hinges on information literacy – knowing how to find, verify, use and cite information available in print and on the Web. Computer science is integrated into the classroom, and we teach digital citizenship to our students and our parents. All of these tools are to provide our students with the resources they need to be safe, respectful and effective users of the digital world.
A Leader in Instructional Technology
Harker was an early adopter of a 1:1 laptop program, putting powerful technology tools in the hands of our middle and upper school students. Each campus has a director of learning, innovation and design whose primary job is to help teachers implement technology into their curricula. Teachers are encouraged to explore innovative uses of technology in the classroom through grants, and they often report back to their colleagues with demonstrations and talks to share their new knowledge. We also host the annual Harker Teacher Institute, co-sponsored by Silicon Valley Computer Using Educators. Teachers from all over the Bay Area come to attend workshops led by Harker staff, meet with colleagues, and take new and exciting teaching ideas back to their classrooms.
We have all the infrastructure in place to assure seamless use of all of our technology. A help desk, staffed by our IT staff, has open hours to help students with any computer problems they may encounter, whether they need a loaner or help downloading a program. Our Wi-Fi network encompasses all four of our campuses, and online portals for students, parents and faculty keep the community informed. Digital display boards donated by Cisco Systems provide fun signage in the upper school to remind students about important deadlines and events.