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Baylor School is well equipped for the information age, committed not only philosophically but also technologically. Baylor currently has approximately 650 computers and 11 servers on campus. All classrooms are equipped with projectors connected to computers. All teachers have course websites, many using the Moodle course management system. All students, faculty, administrators, and parents have e-mail accounts.
Our science and technology building houses 100 computers, 14 laboratories, and three state-of-the art computer classrooms. SMART boards are present in math, science, and geography classrooms (as well as in some classrooms in other disciplines), helping to transform computers into powerful interactive teaching tools. Several teachers use School Pads, and document cameras are becoming increasingly popular. The library is home to two laptop carts as well as two desktop teaching areas. In addition, there is a desktop lab in Academic Hall, and the art department features both a mini-Mac lab and a 20-station Mac lab. Three laptop carts support middle school classrooms in Barks Hall, along with a set of Mac laptops for video projects.
While the number of computer labs and the accessibility to computer equipment is important, we encourage parents to examine how computers are actually being used in the classroom to fully understand how Baylor uses technology to enhance learning. All of our academic departments have incorporated computers into the curriculum, and students access the internet to research everything from ancient civilizations to current events.
Below are just a few examples of how Baylor faculty and students actively pursue the possibilities provided by technology every day. For more information or specific questions, please feel free to contact Scott Dering, Dean of Academic Affairs/Assistant Head of School.
- The three laptop carts in Barks Hall enable middle grade teachers to use technology to enhance their classrooms in a wide variety of ways. Internet research is a frequent activity, and students do class work in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
- Art teachers in the middle school use the latest version of Adobe's Photoshop and the department's digital cameras, scanners, and color printers as tools to create art. Students transform digital photos of themselves to create unique and meaningful self-portraits. The computer is also used as a compositional tool in advanced art classes. Students photograph the subject matter they are going to paint and then adjust the composition, color, and format of the image in Photoshop, quickly creating options for finished paintings. A mini-Mac lab and a 20-station Mac lab for photography, digital design, and computer science courses support student learning in these areas. Students in Media Arts classes use Adobe’s latest creative suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign), and AP art students keep a portfolio of their work on an art blog.
- Classroom projectors provide an important tool for English classes as they focus on instruction in grammar, usage, composition, editing, and revision. Library databases support a wide range of research, and students use the school’s computers or their own laptops for research and writing. Many teachers incorporate blogs, wikis, and Moodle forums into the curriculum.
- The language department puts the internet to good use every day. Whether students are listening to the news from Paris or Berlin, are visiting a classroom in Beijing or the Coliseum in Rome, or are taking a tour of the Prado in Madrid, they are listening to and responding to authentic language. YouTube and overhead projectors allow teachers to show cultural events and important news items. Several classes have SmartBoards and are adding document cameras. Students use the laboratory for making tapes; students need to listen to themselves. Video cameras record special class events and presentations, and parents of international students may see their children in action. Computers have made the world smaller, but they also have provided bigger horizons.
- The math department's primary technological focus is the integration of graphing calculators into the math curriculum. Graphing calculators, which all Baylor students learn to use, are powerful tools capable of evaluating and graphing complex mathematical functions. Students and teachers can link the calculators to a desktop computer to print graphs, transfer information and download programs. Two math classrooms are equipped with TI-Navigator systems. In addition, geometry teachers use the software program "Geometer's Sketchpad" to enhance the understanding of geometrical concepts. Math instructors also use a Smart document camera, Airliners (interactive boards in student hands to complement the SmartBoards), Texas Instruments CBL's (calculator-based laboratories) and Vernier probes and sensors.
- All of Baylor's science courses use cutting-edge technology. For example, all courses use VernierLabQuest hand-held computers and laboratory sensors, all biology classrooms have digital video microscopes, several courses include units on robotics using LEGO Mindstorm robots, and astronomy students use night-sky simulations in class and a computer-controlled telescope during evening labs. Overall, the science department's $8.1 million endowment ensures that our instructional and laboratory equipment will always keep pace with the best science programs in the country.
- Social Studies teachers routinely use classroom projectors in their daily instruction—to view websites, display student work, view PowerPoint presentations, access the Baylor-Net, and watch DVDs. They often also hold class in computer labs, make computer-based assignments, and encourage students to extend their own technological skills.