Computers in the Middle School become an integral part of their everyday lives. The boys begin to use e-mail and the school’s Web site to communicate with faculty, view coursework, and turn in assignments. Browning uses Google Apps for e-mail, calendar, and word processing. Boys will use Moodle, Browning’s online classroom management system, beginning in the Fifth Grade. They continue using Moodle through Form VI. Multimedia creation becomes a regular part in the boys’ lives using Garageband, iMovie, and Wordpress to create podcast, movies, and blogs throughout the curriculum.
Grade Five meets three times in a two-week cycle with a computer specialist in Browning’s computer lab. Students refresh and practice keyboarding skills using various applications. They learn to use the best technological tools available through more in-depth study of applications already covered in previous grades. A section of the course focuses on ethical standards and acceptable use of technology. Attention is given to Internet safety and media literacy. Guided Web searches provide the students with experience in gathering reliable resources. Discussions on Internet experience are encouraged. In addition to items mentioned above, support is given to the annual Latin America and Africa projects to produce PowerPoint presentations, podcasts, and movies. Finally, students learn the fundamentals on how to build and program robots using Lego Mindstorms NXT. The projects require the students to solve problems and troubleshoot the robotics functions.
Grade Six meets three times in a two-week cycle with a computer specialist in Browning's computer lab. Students refresh and practice their keyboarding skills using a various keyboarding applications. Students also learn how to program video games using Scratch, a software created by MIT to teach programming basics. Finally students learn to write and produce a movie as a class project. All students write their own movie script, take part in one of the many roles needed to create the movie, and edit the movie on a computer using iMovie. Students screen their finished product to the Middle School at the end of the year as a culminating activity.
Form II Fine Arts (Computer)
Form II fine arts consists of one trimester’s study in each of three areas: music performance, art, and computer animation. One third of the class is enrolled in each of these areas, and at the start of the following trimester, the groups rotate into a discipline yet to be studied. By the end of the year, all Form II boys will have completed work in each of these three areas. In the computer component of the rotation, students are encouraged to create graphic animations using Adobe Flash. Students learn the fundamentals of the multimedia software to create stunning animations that includes motion graphics, effects, music, video, and sound.