At St. Michael’s, Technology is viewed as a tool that our students have access to in all of their classes. In the Middle School, each student is issued an Apple MacBook Air. This is their laptop to use both at school and at home. The laptop is preloaded with today’s most popular software titles, like Adobe’s Creative Suite, and Apple’s iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Each student also gets a school issued email account, powered by Google. With their account, they have access to a Google Drive account, and Google’s full line of web based production applications (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc). Working in the Google environment allows students to collaborate with each other, as well as their teachers – all in real time. Lastly, students are also given an Apple iCloud for Education account. Our students are taught how to utilize this emerging industry standard for everything from calendar synchronization to photo streams.
Additionally, our Middle School students have access to a cart of Apple iPads, and a full featured green screen room for video production.
We want our Middle School students to have a portable technology device because we want them to be able to work whenever and wherever they are inspired. Our SMCDS Maker Lab is full of state of the art machines that bring your digital creation to life. We have CNC Machines, seven 3D printers, a vinyl cutter, and a 3D laser cutter just to name a few. All of these machines interface with the software preloaded on the student’s laptop. We want our students to design something unimaginable whenever they want, and then bring their laptop back to campus and watch their idea become reality in our Maker Lab.
Cutting edge academics involves a critical balance between the tried and true of past history, the innovation of the present, and a thoughtful vision for the future. Advances in technology and research in the past two decades have challenged teachers to reconsider traditional metrics of success and to balance group challenge with individual opportunities for discovery and innovation.
The school’s emphasis on project based instruction, STEAM initiatives, and Middle School Electives are innovations of the past year that have been gleaned from regional, national and international professional development experiences.
Recent professional development and research workshops attended by faculty include:
The annual Independent School Technology Educators (ISTE) National Conference in Philadelphia;
The National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference in Boston;
National Conference for International Baccalaureate Programs;
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference;
Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE) Conference in Wellesley and regional workshops;
Numerous workshops and programs from Responsive Classroom, Rhode Island School of Design, Project Based Learning, and Singapore Math.