Upper School students and faculty make extensive use of technology in various ways throughout the curriculum. Technology supports research, writing, and communication across the curriculum. Please visit our Technology Department Blog to see current projects and applications, or view our Slide Show about Upper School Technology to read more about the use of technology at BB&N in each discipline. You can also visit the Technology Department Website for our help pages and support systems.
Wireless access blankets all of BB&N, and there are computers throughout the school. Students often bring their own laptops to school, but some choose to use BB&N computers. Many rooms are outfitted with enough computers so that students can use them individually during class, especially in math and science, but also for photography and video editing. The library is a hub of digital activity and loans laptops and iPads to students who don't bring their own. Laptop carts also supplement student computing for our Humanities classes.
The Internet Café in our Commons dining area is another spot for student access. Throughout the school, and at home, students use computers to compose papers, research information, create multimedia, and communicate globally. BB&N uses Google Apps for Education as a collaborative, cloud-based platform for reliable computing. The school's learning management system is PowerSchool Learning (formerly known as "Haiku"); all teachers maintain sites within this system to provide students with organized access to instructional resources.
The Upper School Technology Integration Mentor works with the faculty to develop and support curriculum and projects that benefit students by using technology resources.
The Upper School also has a relationship with the Global Online Academy which offers a variety of online courses available to juniors and seniors.
- In mathematics classrooms, students use graphing calculators, math visualization websites, and other software. Several programming courses are offered (see below).
- In World Language classes, computers are used to help students learn to read, write, and especially speak in these languages. Language classes also make use of the web to access media and publications from other cultures.
- Science classes use laptops and probes to gather and analyze experimental data. Students also use software simulations of experiments that may be too difficult or dangerous to carry out in the lab.
- In the Art Department, our photography course emphasizes digital manipulation as an important part of the imaging process. In music classes, the computer is used to aid in composition, arranging, and orchestration. We also have a video-editing course in which students shoot, edit, and produce their own videos.
- Librarians work closely with the faculty using periodicals databases in various subject areas, especially history. The library also gives incoming 9th graders extensive instruction on how to carry out digital research. This includes the use of online databases to locate books and articles about topics of interest, the use of our electronic card catalog, and the research capabilities of the web.
Computer Programming & Coding:
The Mathematics and Computer Science Department offers various opportunities for students to learn and practice programming. In Geometry (which all students take) there is a three week unit in either Java or Snap programming. For students who want more programming, the following elective courses are offered:
- Computer Programming
This introductory computer science course provides students with a comfortable and engaging first programming experience. Topics include programming methodology, conditionals, loops, methods, arrays, strings, objects, and graphics. This course is designed to prepare students for a college-level programming course, including BB&N’s AP Computer Science course. The primary language is Java. Prerequisite: Generally a B- or higher in the current math course and permission of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.
- Advanced Placement Computer Science A (Plus Data Structures)
This is an introductory college-level computer science course with an emphasis on programming methodology, algorithms, and data structures. Major topics include arrays, methods, classes, objects, linked lists, trees, recursion, and searching and sorting algorithms. Participating students are prepared to take the AP Computer Science A exam. This course goes beyond the AP syllabus, including the set of topics typically composing a full year of college level computer science. The primary programming language is Java. Previous programming experience is not necessary. Prerequisite: Generally a B or higher in an honors math course, a B+ or high in Computer Programming or comparable programming experience, and permission of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.
- Advanced Topics in Computer Science (Grade 12)
This course offers students the opportunity to learn about topics that go beyond the Advanced Placement Computer Science A curriculum. In recent years, students in this course constructed a simulated computer system as they learned about the interactions of hardware, software, compilers, and operating systems. Other topics studied in this course could include advanced data structures and algorithms, parallel computing, machine learning, iOS app development, and computer graphics. This is a hands-on course and students learn through a series of individual and small-group projects. Prerequisite: Prior programming experience and permission of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.
There are also opportunities for students to join clubs, including the Computer Programming Club, the Robotics Club, and the Mobile App Development Club.