Nurturing a love of learning, a spark of creativity, and an eye for innovation are foundations of curriculum projects developed by the ESJ Technology & Innovation Department. A key goal of the department is to provide engaging and challenging development in digital literacy and technology to find tomorrow’s opportunities and solutions for today’s problems. Real-world applications of computer science and inquiry-based learning are at the heart of projects in the classroom, computer lab, or STEM learning spaces around campus during or after the traditional school day. Freely working through the spaces between hardware and software in lower or upper school classrooms is building a lifetime of confidence for ESJ students and strengthening the future communities they will serve and help build.
The opportunities for inquiry and learning begin early at Episcopal, with elementary students presented with the chance to explore computational challenges by applying their own unique perspectives and solutions. In Lower School, Technology & Innovation is an integral part of pre-kindergarten through the fifth-grade curriculum. The computer program enhances and integrates classroom lessons with computer activities. Students learn how to type well-formatted assignments, conduct academic research, use multimedia presentation software, write code, and can participate in robotics. They also learn the ethical and societal issues related to technology and how to practice responsible use of technology systems.
Beaches Campus classrooms are fully equipped with both Apple and Google technology, including a multimedia center, 3D printer, laser cutter, interactive whiteboards, and individual devices for students in the classrooms. The addition of the science lab and the IDEAStudio, infused with a STEAM-based approach, helps cultivate a learning environment of excitement and discovery. iPads and an iPad cart also add to the student learning experience through an interactive technology program that promotes the school's educational philosophy.
The St. Mark’s Campus curriculum for Pre-Kindergarten through third grade includes Innovation Lab classes with courses designed to instruct and equip them in all areas of expected digital proficiency according to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards and student learning profiles. The Innovation Lab features iMacs and iPads, 3D printing capability, and a variety of robots designed to teach children of all ages how to code. A STEAM-based approach helps cultivate a learning environment of excitement and discovery.
Middle and Upper Schools
In sixth through eighth grades, students will begin to delve into the iterative design process, learning to brainstorm, design, test, and revise their ideas in projects that bring together foundations in Google products and Microsoft Office with increasing challenges in programming from block coding in Scratch to writing code in Python. Interacting with the world through a variety of presentation software, web development, and infographics moves students to a new level of authorship. Access to CAD software helps students visualize a rapidly advancing realization of ideas from rapid prototyping to sharing and promoting new concepts of their own creation.
By the time the ESJ student reaches Upper School, they will be comfortable with the tools and expectations of iterative design, anticipating challenges, and the need for revision. In courses such as Introduction to Engineering Design, Computer Programming, Simulation/Game Design, and the AP Computer Science offerings, the Upper School student will use industry-level software such as Xcode and Google Sketchup to design or code projects. The STEM learning and literacy inherent in the Technology & Innovation curriculum at Episcopal is supported by two student computer labs, a Robotics/STEM Lab within a maker space environment, and a growing list of hardware and software to support the rapidly evolving needs of the 21st-century student. Working with the STEM community in Northeast Florida as part of First Robotics, Episcopal students in sixth through 12th grades will also learn the importance of collaboration and community partnership