Computers and Technology in the Upper School

Computers and TechnologyMajor Courses

Computer Science Principles (Honors)
A requirement for success in the 21st century is creativity coupled with technology skills and critical thinking. This class is designed for someone interested in business, marketing, advertising, or perhaps a field that is not yet defined. The new course will introduce students to programming, but will also give them an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computing, its breadth of application, and its potential for transforming the world in which we live.

Examples of projects:

  • Analyzing sets of “Big Data” for a major department store
  • Looking at sales trends
  • Forecasting future merchandise needed
  • Using graphic art software to develop and advertising plan.

AP Computer Science
This major course is comparable to a first-year college course in computer science. The course trains students to develop programs and solve problems using the programming language JAVA. It begins with an introduction to the history of computers and programming and continues with object-oriented programming that focuses on the development and analysis of algorithms and data structures. The topics covered are those set by the College Board. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May. Grades are based upon at-home and in-class work, quizzes, projects, and test scores.

Computer Science (Honors) 
This major course is for the student who is interested in an introduction to various topics in computer science. Students will start with basic programming skills in java and object-oriented design and then move on to HTML, Java Applets, Python, and app development. Additionally students will learn about system planning, analysis, design and debugging various computer programs. This class is also perfect for someone who wants to integrate graphic arts with computer programming.

Communication & Media Technologies I (with Honors option)
This course offers students a broad foundation in the technologies and common software applications that allow us to create and share multimedia and hypermedia (webpages). Through projects, like package design and video editing, students will also learn the importance of balancing self-expression, strong design sensibilities and the practical demands of communicating with an audience. Web design topics include an introduction to HTML5, CSS, and the principles of designing a positive user experience. Students will also plan, design and launch their own blogs, allowing them the opportunity to create, optimize/compress and deliver their own multimedia creations (audio, graphics, and video).

Media Arts I students who have completed Yearbook, Journalism, Photoshop or digital art-making courses with an A- or better, may be considered for the Honors level. Honors students are expected to complete additional homework readings, to blog more frequently and to take a leadership role in editing and encouraging their peers’ multimedia work.

Communications & Media Technologies II (Honors)
Communications & Media Technologies II Honors asks serious students of art, graphic design, communications, and journalism to continue exploring the intersection of communication, technology and aesthetics.

Students will be expected to take their hypermedia and multimedia content creation skills to new heights by deepening their knowledge of HTML5, CSS, color theory, and web typography. Students will also continue using social media tools on their blogs to increase readership. As in Comm & Media Tech I, in Comm & Media Tech II Honors, students will complete projects and learn workflows that are relevant to the work that artists, graphic designers, journalists, web designers, and professional bloggers and others do every day. Students will explore magazine layout, advanced photo and video editing, web design, and more.

Required Minor Course

Computer Applications
Required for those new to Grade 9 and recommended for those new to Grades 10 and 11. This course will introduce students to the MFS network, email and I-drive. Students will work with Google Apps and learn how they can share and collaborate online. Students will complete assignments with Microsoft Office Suite and learn how to effectively use the Library databases. Other topics include movie editing, digital citizenship, iMovie, Evernote, and Movie Maker. Students will learn how to use Facebook and Twitter safely and responsibly. This class is also open to returning students that are interested in keeping up with the latest technology!

Examples of Optional Minor Courses

CAD and 3D Printing
Students learn to use Creo Parametric to do CAD. Some student work will be produced on the 3D printer.

Photoshop: From Pixels to Print
Students create an assortment of projects using Adobe Photoshop. They will be taught the technical skills and learn the working behind the Photoshop process. Students will be given project ideas, but are encouraged to use their creativity to create fun, exciting digital artwork. Topics include color modes, raster vs. vector, typography, filters, layers, paint brushes, and more. Students will have the ability to print poster-sized pictures of some of their work to showcase their finished assignments.

Programming Apps for Android
This course covers programming apps using JAVA and Python for use on Android tablets.