What is the Technology Philosophy @ Eastside Prep?
A technology program is a whole lot more than just handing out laptops.
Technology itself is a funny word, it is really just a placeholder for tools which society hasn’t quite figured out yet. Today, we don’t think of a refrigerator as technology, but it was once and it had an amazing impact on society. Now we just think of it as, well, a refrigerator.
At Eastside Prep we spend a lot of time thinking about the world in which our students will live, what could the world be like in 10 or 20 years, what will be considered tech to our students? How can we prepare students now for thriving with those new possibilities?
This sets us apart in a couple of ways, one is that our faculty are agile and opportunity focused they approach new tools looking for opportunities in their courses. We commonly shock companies with how quickly and thoroughly we adopt their tools. The other thing we do particularly well is imagine better ways of doing things and then doing them.
To do things in new ways and support the energy and innovation of the community, we thoughtfully track trends and we immerse ourselves in the ways technology is changing the world around us. We play with the new tools being invented all the time and reflect on what it means for students and education in general. We also maintain a solid infrastructure as a base for us to layer other software and tools on top of and set aside resources to acquire new tools. When we can’t find a sufficient tool for a task, we build them in-house, most of these tools focus on getting information where it is most useful to students, parents, teachers and advisors.
Everything we talked about so far is infused throughout Eastside Prep. We also have opportunities for students to explore the tech landscape more directly and it will look different for each student.
Many will take one of our many tech courses, or join a tech focused after school club, a handful will get hired as summer interns and help with maintaining and enhancing the infrastructure. Some of the most exciting opportunities are around making stuff. We have students imagining something, maybe a gift, a piece to a project, an invention or just something that would be “so cool.” Then they build a representation of it on their computer and then print it in plastic or laser cut it leaving them with a physical prototype that quite literally started as an idea in their head. My inner child so wishes I could have had these tools when I was a kid. My bike would have been wicked awesome.
There are few things more engaging and empowering than seeing your ideas come to life.
At the end of the day, everything we do is about engaging students in the classroom and outside of the classroom.
Jonathan Briggs – Director of Technology