Computers today have become invaluable devices in instruction and communication. Connected to a network and the internet, a computer becomes a powerful tool for learning. With these revolutionary tools, OLPH students, faculty and staff are changing the dynamics of learning by making it more practical, meaningful and enjoyable. Through our partnership with Beyond Technology, OLPH students are exposed to a rich, standards-based technology curriculum offering our students a quality education that will shape their futures and develop their technological skills, helping to ensure success in high school, college and beyond.
Using technology, students are able to:
- Write and edit reports, essays and presentations electronically
- Plan, prepare and present creative multimedia projects
- Manipulate data using a database
- Organize and store vast amounts of information electronically
- Learn to research effectively using the internet
- Apply computer knowledge to real-life situations
- Practice keyboarding skills
What Students Learn in Technology Class
Unit 1 focuses on being a good listener. Students learn about the new technology they will be using as well as when they listen, they learn. In Unit 2, the focus is on showing kindness. Students learn word-processing and desktop-publishing skills. Students identify ways to show kindness to others. The focus for Unit 3 is being thankful. TK and kinder students work on database and spreadsheet skills. Students learn to sort and categorize objects they are grateful for into a visual chart, and they apply math functions of counting and adding to analyze their data. Students identify what they are most thankful for by completing a class survey and interpreting the data.
The last unit focuses on integrity. Students learn computer programming. They are introduced to several fundamental coding concepts such as pair programming, algorithms, sequencing, decomposing, debugging and loops. They also use their programming journal to review the terms and complete activities to build connections with these coding concepts. TK and kinder students then apply their knowledge to write a sequence of code in a coding application such as ScratchJr. They design a plan to solve a problem and develop a program that demonstrates their understanding of computer programming.
This year’s theme is developing character. Each unit focuses on a specific character trait that will help develop good character. In Unit 1, first-graders focus on being responsible. They learn about the new technology they will be using as well as being responsible with technology. They also learn new multimedia skills and complete a multi-slide presentation using these new techniques.
In Unit 2, the focus is on having self-control. Students learn word-processing and desktop-publishing skills. They identify what self-control is, what behaviors can cause loss of self-control and how to practice having self-control. First-graders write an informative document on how to show self-control.
The focus for Unit 3 is perseverance. First-grade students learn database and spreadsheet skills. They sort and categorize phrases that will allow them to have a better understanding of what perseverance is, what it sounds like and what it looks like. They create a visual chart of when they showed perseverance. Students sort and categorize their data into a weekly chart, and then they apply math functions to analyze their data to discover when they showed the most and least perseverance. Lastly, they analyze situations that exemplify showing perseverance by inserting and manipulating data from a class survey.
The final unit focuses on being respectful. First-graders learn computer programming. They are introduced to several fundamental coding concepts such as pair programming, algorithms, sequencing, decomposing, debugging and loops. They use their programming journal to review the terms and complete activities to build connections with these coding concepts. First-graders then apply their knowledge to write a sequence of code in a coding application such as ScratchJr. They design a plan to solve a problem and develop a program that demonstrates their understanding of computer programming.
This year’s theme is developing choices (decision-making). In Unit 1, students investigate how to use the six steps of decision-making to choose positive screen-time choices. Topics of exploration include what is screen time, the effects of screen time and personal screen-time habits. Students also reflect on why making positive screen-time choices is important. They create a presentation to promote how to make positive screen-time choices. Students review and learn new ways to design a presentation using multiple applications and web tools such as GIF animated creations.
In Unit 2, students focus on word-processing and desktop-publishing skills. They investigate everyday scenarios they are faced with and the choices they make that affect their learning. Students compare these choices to determine the best choice to make for their learning. They also design creative documents showcasing these learning choices: Second-graders create a booklet, third- and fourth-graders create a “choose your own adventure” book, and fifth-graders develop a digital escape room.
The focus for Unit 3 is healthier choices. Students practice complex problem-solving and data analysis using spreadsheet and database skills. They construct data tables, surveys and charts, and they use conditional formatting and advanced formulas. They investigate and identify what health wellness is and how to make healthier choices by analyzing their physical, social and mental habits. Second-grade students categorize their current food choices into “sometimes” and “anytime” foods to analyze their food choices, and they take a class fitness survey. Third- and fourth-grade students compare and analyze their daily food, sleep and fitness choices with the recommended amounts to determine better health habits. Fifth-grade students take a self-evaluation to assess a measurement of their physical, social and mental/emotional health habits. Students analyze the data from the self-evaluation to take a deeper look at the specific health areas where students can be making healthier choices.
In the last unit, students focus on social and emotional choices. They engage their computational thinking skills to investigate coding concepts such as comparing and refining algorithms, decomposing, debugging, loops, events, conditionals and variables. They use their programming journal to review the terms and complete activities to build connections with these coding concepts. Students apply their knowledge to write sequences of code in the coding application Scratch. Also, they use Scratch to write a program using a sequence of commands and an array of block coding. This program will demonstrate how to make better social and emotional choices. Students have the ability to remix an existing program or start from scratch. They need to decompose their idea into smaller chunks and use debugging skills to test the sequence.
The curriculum for this year is called the CEO Challenge. Students are tasked with the challenge of applying the major areas of technology in building a business. This curriculum gives sixth-graders a foundation in basic business principles.
Students use 10 major technology areas to create business projects that can be used in the real business world. They create a fictitious business of their own. They write their own business plan and then complete all the information necessary to start and run a business. Students must include their company logo, business cards, bios on themselves and a letter to the bank.
In Unit 2, sixth-graders continue to develop their business, and they find ways to advertise their company. They also search for other competitors to help them identify their own business strengths and weaknesses. Students create a customer database to practice using mail merge and other tools.
In Unit 3, students refine their spreadsheet and database skills as they develop company strategies. Sixth-graders develop a basic understanding of the stock market, and they identify basic investment terms. Students track and invest (pretend) the performance of various stocks of their choice. They also create a stock workbook to chart the investment of capital funds over the duration of the unit.
In the last unit, students finalize their business. This unit covers presentation skills and techniques. Students create a final presentation for their business portfolio.
CEO Challenge 2.0 is a powerful business startup and entrepreneur technology course. It introduces students to the principles of business startup culture and the resources available to start and grow a successful company that can solve the world’s problems. This curriculum facilitates student competence in presentation design, creative communication and analytical problem-solving, and it teaches students to use advanced technological tools to collaborate, effectively research and become an empowered learner.
Students identify their interests and recognize key benchmarks to start and grow a successful business. They learn and master the tools that business leaders use to create powerful companies that solve the world’s problems. They also use Lean Startup practices and learn how companies today build, measure and learn to scale companies that grow ideas that lead to massive innovation. Seventh-graders learn how to become digital citizens and innovators.
In Unit 1, students research and understand the importance of entrepreneurship. They conduct various projects to help them discover their entrepreneurial mindset by conducting personality-type surveys.
In Unit 2, seventh-graders research the basics of marketing and branding. They create their own logo, slogan and letterhead. They also have the opportunity to advertise their company by creating a 30- to 60-second commercial.
In Unit 3, students learn financial basics. They create a budget and yearly forecast in order to keep track of the money coming in and out of the business. They also learn about the cost of borrowing money and are introduced to financial terms.
In Unit 4, seventh-graders recognize the importance of business networking and produce key tools to help in networking. Students collaborate and research business networking concepts in order to understand their importance. They research what business networking is, why it is important, where to network and how to network. Students create business cards, resumes and websites.
The eighth-grade curriculum is called Creating Change, Developing Solutions. Students are tasked with identifying a pressing social or global issue that is important to them and creating a campaign to address that issue. The curriculum contains four units, and each unit leads students through exciting new technological areas, teaching them 21st century computer skills that foster critical thinking, global awareness and creativity.
The Creating Change, Developing Solutions curriculum focuses heavily on computer-programming skills using a web tool called Scratch. Scratch teaches students programming logic in an exciting, accessible format. Students create animations, interactive activities and interactive infographics for their campaign using Scratch.mit.edu.
Unit 1 — Researching and Launching the Campaign: Students decide on the cause they will campaign for. They conduct online research and create a database of facts, quotes and statistics relating to the cause. They use this database in future projects as a source of information. They also create a logo, tag line and mission statement for their campaign and start blogging about their cause.
Unit 2 — Raise Awareness About the Cause: Students focus on using the research and planning from Unit 1 to raise awareness about the cause. Eighth-graders are introduced to programming in Scratch. In Scratch, students set up an account that will host all their projects. They learn the basics of creating programming scripts using code blocks. The campaign announcement gives them an introduction to the basics of Scratch programming. After completing two Scratch projects, students write, film and edit a public service announcement pertaining to the issues of the campaign.
Unit 3 — Interacting With the Cause: Eighth-graders outline and create a complex Scratch project that focuses on user interactivity. Students choose what type of interactive project would best serve their campaign (a game, an adventure story or an animation). Interactivity in programming involves building scripts that allow users to control the action with the keyboard or mouse. This project takes the majority of the unit to complete.
Unit 4 — Presenting the Cause: Students create an interactive infographic in Scratch. The infographic should contain the key information relating to the cause and be interactive and visually appealing. Students also create a multimedia presentation in Google Slides, recapping all the work they have done on their campaign. They present their campaign to the class, showing each of their Scratch projects and videos. Unit 4 is the culmination of the campaign, allowing students to share all their hard work from the year.