At Thayer, current technology surrounds our students everywhere they go, thoughtfully integrated into classroom learning and extracurricular activities across the campus and community, and providing support in off-campus settings for study and collaboration.
The Tech Fellows program is designed to give students the freedom to chose projects that interest them the most and that they feel will most benefit Thayer. Inspired by experts such as Daniel Pink and Sir Ken Robinson, the program is structured to empower students to be more imaginative and innovative.
Sam Rando ‘18 elected to work on a project about the gamification of learning, which emphasizes the student experience with instructor-led courses focused on interactivity and practice. Through the use of software and different online media, teachers are able to increase student interactivity, awareness, and motivation by rewarding students’ performance on challenging tasks.
“This year I researched the fascinating topic of gamification of education. What this means is using gamelike elements in the classroom to motivate and engage students. I developed my own blog to educate people about gamification and share what I've learned about its effects on students' learning. Every two weeks, I post an article about gamification, whether it was a review of a program or some information on how gamification can benefit both students and teachers. I've had a lot of fun with this project, and I really enjoy introducing people to new ways of learning.“Sam Rando '18, Tech Fellow
At admission, all students are provided with a MacBook 11” Air laptop, maximizing opportunities for learning and classwork sharing, anywhere, at any time. With this powerful tool, students can efficiently organize and complete their assignments and easily communicate with classmates and teachers throughout the school year.
Thayer provides students with seamless and secure network access through a fully wired and wireless filtered campus network, a single, virtualized domain and private cloud network, with single sign on (SSO) log-in, and cloud accounts such as Google Apps for Education and Atomic Learning.
Virtual desktop interfaces offer individualized remote access for the Thayer student and faculty community, along with enterprise-level security for student safety and data protection, and access to emerging technologies such as 3D printing, laser cutting, gamification, virtual labs, and online blended learning.
At Thayer, technology is a critical part of the curriculum, providing the wide range of constantly evolving digital tools that allow students to interact, create, share, and engage in a learning environment filled with emerging possibilities.
Computer Science (CS) at Thayer provides students with a challenging and dynamic program that exposes them to the theory that composes the core of programming, while also keeping pace with the latest developments in the field. Courses include Programming I (C++), AP Computer Science (Java), and Data Structures in Java. Students in the Data Structures course are required to participate in the American Computer Science League contests.
The Hanflig Technology Center (HTC)
In an era of collaborative learning, technology enriches the academic environment for both faculty and students. The Thayer Academy technology infrastructure is designed to support our teaching and learning strategies. The Hanflig Technology Center promotes the advancement of technology in service of learning and teaching, under the direction of the Director of Technology, Theresa Jay, and the Supervisor of the Center, Mike Landry.
HTC Technology Fellow Program
The Tech Fellow program provides an avenue for students to have essential conversations with faculty about digital tools for learning. How can these digital tools improve existing educational practices to transform the learning experience? Tech Fellows passionately promote digital learning with curiosity, self-direction, problem solving, and critical thinking.
Mobile Computing Campus and the Laptop Program
Thayer’s student laptop program provides all learners with access to current technology in support of student work at school and at home. Since the fall of 2015, students have been using school-issued MacBook 11” Air laptops. Thayer’s technology resources aid in the process of learning how to locate information, synthesize it, and form logical and reasonable conclusions. The laptop program promotes collaborative learning and shifts responsibility to students to be more organized, creative, and productive.
Technology Standards & Performance Indicators for Students
At Thayer Academy, we refer to the technology standards outlined in the ISTE National Standards for Students. The technology standards for students are divided into four categories and are introduced and reinforced by academic work. The four categories are:
- Creativity and Innovation
- Communications and Collaboration
- Research and information fluency
- Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making
Teachers can use these standards and performance indicators as guidelines for planning technology-based activities in which students achieve success in learning, communication, and life skills.
The Technology Committee
The mission of the Thayer Academy Technology Committee is to inform the Strategic Planning Committee with technology goals and initiatives supporting Excellence in Education through Innovation. The technology department and faculty meet regularly throughout the year to define technology support needed for teaching and design programs that leverage technology to enhance learning.
Future technology plans include seamless integration of emerging technologies such as 3D printing, maker spaces, and adaptive learning technologies across the curriculum, an online learning management system to offer blended learning and augmented reality environments, and a video conferencing center.
Technology Resources for Students
The digital revolution has transformed our school and our daily lives. Thayer Academy stays on the cutting edge of innovation by providing students access to emerging technologies like 3D printing, used at Thayer to create mathematical models, replicas of ancient artifacts, jewelry, and art.
- Tiger Skills: A Class for New Middle and Upper School Students
- HTC Technology Fellows
- Specialty Labs and Equipment
- Computer Applications
Tiger Skills, taught by a dedicated instructor, is a class for 6th grade students that meets once a week at the Middle School for the entire academic year. In the Upper School, 9th grade students and newly accepted sophomore students are required to take Fundamentals of Learning for the duration of the first semester. These classes provide students with the foundations for learning online. Topics include the acceptable use of Thayer Academy’s 1-to-1 student laptop program, the use and application of various academic software applications (Google Apps for Education, Gmail, TigerCloud storage, and conferencing/collaboration via Thayer's web site, http://www.thayer.org), the proper use of digital media to create positive experiences as digital citizens, and Digital Safety and Identity. Students also participate in Hour of Code to learn about the basics of coding: telling a computer how to perform a complex task or run a mechanical device.
The primary use of computers on campus is through student’s school-issued MacBook 11” Air laptops. Thayer also offers specialized computer labs for computer science, robotics, video editing, and digital language learning.
The Collaborative Design Lab
Universal Laser Systems Laser Cutter VLS.60, Mermaki vinyl plotter, and 3D cube printers
The Digital Language Lab
Two foreign language Mac labs (DiLL software), located in the Upper School and the Middle School. Students in grades 6 -12 use the labs for French, Spanish, and Chinese
The Glover Computer Science Lab
The PC Computer Lab is equipped with Lenovo All-in-One desktops. This is a dedicated space for the Upper School computer science classes: Programming I (C++), AP Computer Science (Java), and Data Structures (Java, Perl).
The Video Arts Editing Lab
A video editing lab (Xsan) in the Upper School with professional video editing and postproduction.
Epson BrightLink series interactive projectors, Epson Interactive Tools Software
3D printing is an additive manufacturing process building a product layer by layer. 3D printing is leveling the manufacturing field enabling everyone to build with access to a 3D printer. The Hanflig Technology Center has two 3D printers: a Makerbot Replicator and a 3D Systems Cube Pro Trio.
"3D printing may be the future of manufacturing. The 3D printed lacrosse head shown was made for a physics project; the intention was to create a product in an emerging market that hypothetically had a competitive edge."tech fellow Javier James '16
There is a wide variety of computer applications available to students in grades 6-12, on their laptops and in computer labs. Computer applications that are the most widely used include:
Computer Applications for Productivity:
Microsoft Office 2011: word processing; Excel spreadsheets and graphs; PowerPoint
iLife: Photos, iMovie, and Garageband
Google Apps: Classroom, Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites
Computer Applications for Image Editing and Print:
Apple's Photo 11': part of iLife 11 software suite
Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe Acrobat X Pro
Corel Painter XI: painting and illustration software
3D Printers: MakerBot, CubePro Trio, SketchUp, and TinkerCad
Laser Cutter: Adobe Illustrator , AutoCad
Computer Applications for Web Page Design:
Macromedia's Studio MX 2008 Web Design Suite
Includes: Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, and Freehand
Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe Acrobat X Pro
Movie Editing Computer Applications:
Music Computer Applications: