At Penn Alexander School, we recognize the need to prepare our students for life in a digital, global community. We are committed to providing access to the latest technology across all grade levels, and our staff are encouraged to integrate technology with our curriculum to enhance instruction.
Students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade visit the computer lab for one class period each week, and small groups of Middle school students are offered additional technology classes during our elective periods twice a week. Students learn computer basics, internet safety, video editing, as well as basic computer programming and introductory app design.
In grades 4 through 8, students use Google Classroom to collaborate with teachers and classmates, and our PAS Robotics team uses Lego MindStorms software to program their robots.
MIDDLE SCHOOL Computer Science Discoveries Curriculum
6th Graders consider real world problems and create paper prototypes of apps that they develop and test. Their final project is the creation of a digital version of their app and they present it to their classmates. App concepts include scheduling solutions, nutritional planners, music composition, and even a friend finder for your pet!
7th Graders learn to create simple webpages using HTML and CSS, and their final projects are websites that teach the pros and cons of various energy sources.
In grades 1 through 8, students are expected to create a project that demonstrates grade appropriate understanding of Internet Safety. Highlights include posters, slideshows, websites, and animated shorts created with the online tool GoAnimate.
Smartboards or Interactive Flat Panels in every classroom and instructional space
iPads for use in 2nd & 3rd Grade classrooms
Dell Chromebook carts in each classroom, grades 3, 4 & 5
26 Apple iMac Computers for student use in IMC
Apple iMac computer lab for whole class use – RM B28
SmartPanel displays in all classrooms & Shared SmartBoard in Literacy Pod
Class sets of Chromebook laptops in Literacy, Math and Social Studies classrooms
Class set of Apple MacBook Pro laptops in Science Room
WHYY Learning Lab for video editing, RM 320
SOFTWARE SUGGESTIONS FOR FAMILIES
Check out these free tools that can be used online, or downloaded for use.
THE FOOS – Drag and Drop Coding for beginners
– also available as an app for tablets in most app stores.
In recent years, students at Penn Alexander have received instruction on how to use “drag and drop” computer code in an application called “Scratch” to create their own video games with a variety of student-made game controllers.
You can find out more about Scratch at scratch.mit.edu
Scratch coursework was introduced to Penn Alexander by professors and students from the Graduate School of Education at University of Pennsylvania, and has become part of regular classroom instruction during Technology classes.
Introductory computer programming for our lower grades continues as part of the Hour of Code program at PAS.
Learn more about the Hour of Code at code.org
Middle School Computer Fair
Each year, Penn Alexander Middle School students create projects for a regional Computer Fair held during the spring.
Students compete in 6 categories – Digital Video, Logo Design, Web Page Design, Programming, Graphic Design, and Animation. First place winners at the regional fair are eligible to compete at the PA State Middle School Computer Fair.
Check out some past Digital Video projects !