In preschool and kindergarten, students have select access to iPods loaded with audiobooks that correspond to their current reading material. The students enjoy this added feature while advancing their reading skills.
In grades 1-2, students begin the year by becoming acquainted with the Apple Laptopsthat are used for their computer class. They play educational games that help familiarize them with using the trackpad and the keyboard. Students enjoy creating art using paintbrush on the computers and this also improves their trackpad skill. As the year progresses, students begin to use more applications like Keynote to make slide shows. They learn to pull photos from the internet to make their slide shows more interesting. And, students begin to learn how to use the internet to find information about various subject areas. Students work on opening and closing applications that are needed and learn how to save their work properly into organized folders.
In grades 3-4, students refresh their comfort with the Apple Laptops and then quickly begin using them to enhance their learning. Students in grades 3-4 hone the ability to open and close applications, save work in an organized fashion, play educational games, make slideshows, take pictures, pull photos from the internet and really begin to delve into utilizing the internet for research. Extrapolating important information from appropriate websites is a focus in grades 3-4. Students continue to enjoy utilizing the computers as a tool to enhance their classroom learning.
In grades 5-8, students are each issued an Apple Laptop to use in Walden’s one-to-one MacBook program. Students set up folders to enable them to be organized, they open and close applications that are needed, they maintain their computers by keeping them clean and charged and ensuring that they are careful about saving all their hard work so as not to lose anything important. By middle school, the computers are a tool used daily to promote organization and time management as well as to enhance learning. Students build upon what they have learned and use the computer and projects as a means of demonstrating deep understanding of what they are learning in their content areas. A course in coding is offered, where students build digital projects from start to finish. They also learn about digital photography and graphic design and move from using picture examples to really critically considering what to place where and why. Students benefit from and greatly enjoy having their own laptops in middle school. The school has also added a brand new MakerBot 3D Printer to its tech roundup, which has the students learning the online design program TinkerCad.
In extracurricular activities for this age group, Walden has a Robotics team: RoboWalden. Fifth through eighth grade follow a program from the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) organization called the FIRST Lego League (FLL). Using Legos, FLL teams compete on a field in which their robot has to perform whatever tasks they choose on the playing field to score maximum points. Walden's program has its participants learn how to design, build, program, and run robots in a similar fashion. In 2016, RoboWalden advanced to the Regional Championships where they earned second place in Gracious Professionalism, a key component of the First Lego League program.