Even as a sophomore, Hannah Curhan ’23 still benefited from the mentorship of her Middle School Drama Teacher, Ms. Crewdon. During the winter, Crewdon showed Curhan an email from the METG (Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild), calling for submissions to its first-ever monologue contest.
Upper School students make extensive use of technology for research, writing, and communication across the curriculum.
Please view our online slide Show about Upper School Technology to read more about the use of technology in each discipline. You can also visit the Technology Department Website for our help pages and support systems.
BB&N began a "one-to-one" laptop initiative in 2016 at the Middle School. As of September 2018, all Upper School students are expected to own laptops. The Upper School is multi-platform, so students may bring any model of Mac or Windows laptop. WiFi is accessible everywhere. In addition to their own laptops, students also have access to higher-end computers for photography and video courses, lab computers in science, and iPads in World Languages and some science courses. The library is a hub of digital activity and loans laptops and iPads to students who might have a problem with their own. The school is a member of the Global Online Academy consortium which offers a variety of online courses available to juniors and seniors.
The Internet Café in our dining commons is another popular spot for checking email and staying connected.
Throughout the school day, and at home, students use computers to compose papers, research information, analyze data, create multimedia, access their class websites, and communicate globally. BB&N uses Google Apps as our collaborative, cloud-based productivity platform. The school's learning management system is PowerSchool Learning. All teachers maintain sites within PowerSchool to provide students with organized access to instructional resources. The school also licenses Microsoft Office so students can download it to their own laptops at no cost.
Examples of Technology Use in Each Subject:
- English classes use Google Docs for everyday composition and Microsoft Word for their more extensive writing projects.
- Math classes use math visualization websites, spreadsheets, and other software as well as graphing calculators. Several programming courses are offered (see below).
- History classes use a variety of websites for research. Some courses use special websites created by BB&N teachers as their primary source of information resources.
- World Language classes use computers to help students read, write, and 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.
- Art classes use Adobe PhotoShop and Premier for image and video editing. In music classes, the computer is used to aid in composition, arranging, and orchestration.
- 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.
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.