Information Technology (IT) education is an integral part of the education process for all students attending ISA. Throughout the school (K-12), IT is taught as both discrete lessons/courses as well as being integrated into other curriculum areas. ISA believes in the value of IT as both a course of study in its own right, as well as a tool to empower students and enhance their organisation, creativity and achievement in all curriculum areas.
ISA has adopted the International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Students. The ISTE technology standards are organised into six strands, categorising "what students should know and be able to do, to learn effectively, and live productively in an increasingly digital world":
The students of ISA have access to a wide range of hardware, software and online resources to support their learning.
Students in the lower elementary grades (Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2) have one scheduled, 45-minute lesson per week, emphasising the introduction to, and the acquisition of, IT skills. Students in Grades 3-5 learn IT skills in the context of the learning that takes place in the classroom and across the curriculum. Each year, students are introduced to new skills or reinforce skills within the 6 key areas of the Elementary IT programme (as defined by the NETS*S strands).
The K-5 IT specialist works closely with classroom teachers to integrate classroom activities/topics into IT lessons while working to facilitate the integration of IT skills into all classes. In this way, students learn IT skills in the context of their work in the classroom. The use of IT enhances the children's day-to-day learning.
MS Computer Studies
This semester course will focus on learning a variety of digital tools to use in the classroom through creative projects including: producing, filming, and editing videos on cloud-based video editing software (WeVideo); designing and modelling buildings using 3D modelling software (SketchUp Make); manipulating images and designing magazine covers using photo editing software (Photoshop); how to manage, share, and collaborate on the cloud through the use of Google Docs and Slides; and how to design and build an informative website using Google Sites. The class will also focus on keyboarding skills. Lastly, students will be expected to develop effective searches on the Internet and identify accurate information while also learning to use social networks responsibly.
MS Design Technology
In this year-long course, students will be introduced to a broad range of technology concepts, skills and applications. Depending on class size and student interests, there is a number of possibilities for focus units throughout the year, including but not limited to:
Game Programming introduces students to the basics of computer science, logic and problem-solving using Python. Python is a multi-purpose syntax-based programming language that has been used to program YouTube, Instagram and more. The final project will be to design and develop a fully functioning arcade-style game using Python.
Graphic Arts is an introduction to elements of design, spatial relationships, typography, photography and imagery as they apply to practical visual solutions for advertising, marketing, logo design, Web design, and fine arts. This unit will develop students’ graphic design skills employing 2D and 3D digital tools, materials and procedures.
Design Technology introduces students to a wide range of concepts and practical skills in designing, developing and making products that solve genuine, relevant problems within different contexts. At this unit’s core is creativity and imagination. Students will have the opportunity to focus on specific aspects of architectural design, product design, systems and control, and electronics. The subject draws on a broad range of subject knowledge from related disciplines such as Math, Science, Engineering, Computing, and Art.
MS Lego Robotics
This semester course is designed to promote problem-solving skills and introductory computer programming and logic skills, using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics kits. In this course, students design and build programmable robots using motors, sensors, gears, wheels, axles, and other technical components. By using hands-on robotics, students will gain a better understanding of how technology works in real world applications. In working towards solutions, students will build, test, troubleshoot and revise designs to improve robot performance, while gaining practical, hands-on experience using mathematical concepts such as estimating and measuring distance, time and speed. A culminating project is completion of the LEGO Space Challenge – a series of eight robot programming challenges.
HS Computer Science
The Computer Science Course is split into two main units: ‘Theory of Computer Science’ and ‘Practical Problem Solving and Programming’, in line with the units of the Cambridge IGCSE in Computer Science.
Each year of the course can be taken as a stand-alone Computer Science credit, or the two years can be taken with the option to sit the IGCSE examination at the end of the second year. In each year teaching time will be split between the two units.
The Cambridge IGCSE syllabus aims to develop:
• computational thinking, that is thinking about what can be computed and how, and includes consideration of the data required
• understanding of the main principles of solving problems by using computers
• understanding that every computer system is made up of sub-systems, which in turn consist of further sub-systems
• understanding of the component parts of computer systems and how they interrelate, including software, data, hardware, communications and people
• skills necessary to apply understanding to solve computer-based problems using a high-level programming language, in our case Python.
For further information see; Cambridge IGCSE Computer Science 0478
The main focus of the Desktop Publishing course is the production and publication of the ISA Yearbook. Students will be involved in the whole publication process – from planning and design, advertising & marketing, digital photography & image manipulation, page layout, file & image organisation, proofing & editing and distribution. Students will develop advanced skills using industry-standard DTP and image editing software (currently Adobe Photoshop & Adobe InDesign CS5.5). Enrolment in this course is generally by invitation only. The course is highly time/schedule dependent and students need to be self-motivated, show initiative, and be willing to give a commitment of time and effort outside of class time.
ISA has in excess of 500 student-use desktops, laptops and tablet devices. ISA has five computer labs that can accommodate a full class, as well as two small-group project labs. Each lab is well equipped with access to printers, scanners, digital cameras and other specialist peripherals. There are four mobile laptop trolleys and five iPad sets, which can be booked and deployed as needed throughout the school. In addition, in grades 3 to 8, each class has a dedicated trolley of 20 Chromebooks, allowing for an in-class 1:1 laptop program, supported by the school's Google Apps for Education domain (isa247.org.uk)
All classrooms, Preschool through to Grade 12, are equipped with at least 2 networked computers for student use. Each classroom is fitted with a ceiling-mounted projector and built-in audio system. Many classrooms also have interactive whiteboards and visualisers (document cameras) installed.
The campus is covered by a site-wide wireless network, accepting connections from ISA hardware, students' personal devices and guest users. Parents and visitors to ISA can obtain a guest wireless access account from Reception or the IT Office.
Within the Library and the school's entrance foyer, there are public access computer terminals with Internet access.