Technology

There are few, if any, fields as dynamic as technology. But change doesn’t have to be the only constant. At Hawken, we organize our use of technology around clear, broad themes that remain relevant even as particular tools and technologies emerge, evolve and evaporate. Our approach thoughtfully balances stable ideas and principles with the flexibility to capitalize on an ever-widening stream of possibilities.
The following core values guide our use of technology across all divisions.
  • We emphasize producing over receiving information
  • Our use of technology
    • Feels natural and integrated into all subjects
    • Supports student engagement and creativity
    • Helps us to better understand our learners
    • Is woven into the fabric of our school culture
  • The way we use technology is matched appropriately to developmental needs and readiness
 
Lower School (Preschool–Grade 5)
For early childhood and lower school students, we choose technology that is intuitive, interactive and application-driven. With this in mind, iPads are an appropriate match because their design is premised on simplicity. The touchscreens make these devices highly interactive without requiring the fine motor skills needed to use a stylus. Even our youngest students can begin to navigate the menus with very little instruction. At this level, skills are emerging more independently. Applications targeting specific skills (reading, math operations, and music note reading) allow us to address the individual needs of our students.

Middle School (Grades 6–8)
By the middle grades, students are ready to begin to coordinate the different components of their academic lives. They are developing awareness of themselves as students and of the types of tools available to optimize learning. Because we are teaching organizational skills as well as specific technological skills in these grades, our program assumes a more uniform character. With our “one-to-one” program, every students uses a specific model of tablet which travels to and from home. Students at this developmental stage are ready to take advantage of the precision of the stylus to draw, comment and mark materials interactively. Because they are learning methods for acquiring knowledge that transcend specific subject areas, students in the middle grades use their tablet and Microsoft OneNote as an academic organizer. This allows them to experience what it means to master a single system completely so they will be in a better position to identify and use similar systems later.

Upper School (Grades 9–12)
As students begin to be less tethered to specific classrooms and become more involved in sophisticated “in the field” projects, one-to-one computing is more important than ever. Just as in our Middle School, every student in our Upper School brings a tablet to and from school daily. At the Upper School we introduce a learning management system called Canvas, which is the academic home base for students and teachers. All assignments and grades flow through this system. OneNote continues to be relevant and is widely used in our Upper School. Stylus-based computing is also still relevant, allowing us to apply technologies to subjects (chemistry, arts, languages and math) that are under-served by a keyboard and mouse. In the Upper School, teachers and students approach the use of technology with more independence. 

Hawken School | Lower & Middle Schools, 5000 Clubside Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Upper School, PO Box 8002 (12465 County Line Rd), Gates Mills, OH 44040
Gries Center, 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106
440.423.4446