EdTech & Design
Design at ISB offers students opportunities to practice a broad range of technical, problem solving and communication skills central to addressing the challenges of the 21st century. We work with our community to empower learners through the collaborative design of transformative, authentic educational experiences that leverage contemporary tools, practices and spaces.
- innovative application of transferrable knowledge and skills: the act of creating
- design thinking: the process of creative & collaborative problem solving
- practicing empathy: purposeful connections with our community
- risk-taking: embracing failures as learning opportunities
We believe students learn best when:
- they are given authentic, meaningful tasks that make an impact
- they have agency in determining what they learn, how they learn it, and/or how they share what they have learned
- they can develop and apply a wide range of technical skills
- they can reflect on and share the process and product of their learning
In Elementary School, Kindergarten to Grade 10, design is integrated throughout the curriculum. From Grades 6 to 10, students can also select design, engineering and computer science courses as electives.
Facilitation and Integration
Educational technology and design are supported across the entire curriculum through a facilitation and integration model. In all curricular areas, we work with teachers and students to develop meaningful experiences that leverage the critical thinking and problem-solving skills and tools inherent in the purposeful use of technology and the design process. Through this, students are guided to find their voice in helping to define and address challenges that are relevant to them.
Facilities and Access
At ISB, we strive to provide all students with access to the resources that they need in order to learn as writers, mathematicians, and designers. From Kindergarten to Grade 12, students have 1:1 access to devices in an age-appropriate model. Elementary School students have access to iPads and Macbook Airs in class and as needed; Middle and High School students take their Macbook Airs home with them and have access to iPads and other high-end desktops across the school for elective subjects. In addition, our ES and MS/HS Design Labs are outfitted with 3D printers, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) laser cutters, a CNC mill, as well as our own Precious Plastic lab for designing and creating with recycled plastic.
Elementary School Design
The Elementary STEAM program offers students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning by going through the ISB Design Process. Students spend time in their classrooms inquiring through the Science and Social Studies curriculum, then come to our design space to demonstrate their understanding. We use this space as an extension of the classroom where students have the freedom to design and make their ideas and learning come to life. In addition to learning about design thinking, our students develop important skills, from fine and gross motor skills to tool safety and management of materials.
Examples of our fully integrated units include:
- KG – Push & Pull
- Grade 1 – Weather Patterns
- Grade 2 – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Grade 3 – Forces and Magnetism
- Grade 4 – Engineering
- Grade 5 – Biomimicry
ISB Design Standards (for MS/HS)
At ISB, educational technology and design are integrated into the curriculum from PreK to Grade 10, primarily through NGSS Engineering Standards. Middle School and High School use the standards in their reporting and Elementary School refers to the standards as guides for following the design process.
While developing their creative problem-solving skills and applying their knowledge from their classes, students also develop technical skills such as: basic construction, woodworking, 3D modeling, vector drawing for laser cutting, programming, and robotics.
Students also enhance their EdTech and Design knowledge and skills through:
- After-school activities in Elementary School
- Enrichments and after-school activities in Middle School (ex. Lego Robotics, Dragon Design, Photography, Game Design, Precious Plastics)
- Electives and Clubs in High School (ex. Makers Club, Game Making Club, VEX Robotics, Draxonic)