Technology is a tool to solve problems, innovate, and push the limits of what is possible. Technology is ever-changing, so learning technology is about developing a problem solving mindset, resourcefulness, adaptability, and creativity. Students today must be well-rounded users of technology who are comfortable with existing tools and capable of embracing those yet to be developed.
Rye Country Day School upholds the International Society of Technology Education Standards, seven interconnected bands of technology goals that circumscribe the student experience. These standards complement teaching initiatives throughout our community. Our commitment is to educate digital citizens who embrace technology today and in the future.
Director of academic technology, Computer science chair
RCDS is recognized by safe tech and media non-profit Common Sense Media as a Common Sense School for its “commitment to creating a culture of digital citizenship and teaching.”
Lower School students learn foundational concepts of computational and design thinking and use technology to enhance their math, language arts, social studies, and science curriculums. Beginning in Pre-K, students learn coding through physical robots and Scratch. Students also learn about safe ways to use technology at school and at home. In Grades 3 and 4, students begin to leverage technology as they develop research skills. Concepts of digital citizenship are introduced so that students become proactive, critical, and responsible users of technology and information.
In the Middle School, students develop computational thinking and design thinking skills, including 3D printing, robotics, and coding. In classes, students use computers, mobile devices, SmartBoards, and other tools in their classrooms and in designated technology spaces including the Middle School Computer Lab and the Makerspace. Fifth and sixth grade students have ready access to computers and begin to prepare for the responsibility of eventually having their own computer. Starting in seventh grade, students have their own laptop. In seventh and eighth grades, all students are required to complete one trimester of Computer Science to learn programming or robotics. Students use cloud-based tools including Google Suite to collaborate and enhance their learning, and teachers continually integrate educational technology into the curriculum. Topics related to digital citizenship are covered in the Study Skills and SEEK programs and across disciplines, and guest speakers visit campus to discuss technology and digital responsibility including online safety and social media.
Upper School students dive headlong into digital citizenship through advisory, the Life Skills program, and their academic courses. Teachers use current educational technology tools to deliver content in innovative and engaging ways. From coding to engineering and science research, Upper School students leverage technology broadly, and graduate with the skills needed to adopt and use existing and emerging technology. Students examine how computing innovations impact our society, economy, and culture, and they consider the ways in which design and technology intersect through hands-on experience. The Computer Science Department offers deep opportunities for Upper School students to learn to program, including two Advanced Placement (AP) courses and two full year courses that extend beyond the second AP. Working with expert faculty, Upper School students graduate as critical users of technology, responsible digital citizens, and capable computational thinkers.