Technology & Media
Technological advancement is changing life as we know it with each passing year. Many of the tools, resources, and necessities that we rely on every day require a device and an Internet connection. Adults rely on their devices to keep budgets, finish reports, communicate, and remind them of important events. For many of us, technology takes up a lot of our time, but also helps us manage it. Similarly, children reach for the phone or tablet as soon as they learn how to pick up objects, and as they get older they develop a tendency to become more subconsciously reliant on technology in every facet of life.
It is with this reality in mind that Alta Loma Christian School provides an academic experience that is not only faith-based, safe, nurturing, and empowering, but also connected. In fact, it is our belief that the child who engages with technology and learning under the umbrella and wisdom of God’s Word has the best opportunity to succeed as an adolescent AND an adult in the realms of purpose, ministry, career, health, and family. It is this belief that bridges 21st century skills with 1st century faith.
A Side Note on Safety: ALCS believes that every student should first be given the freedom to act responsibly and do what is right on their own accord. However, as a governing body that is responsible for their well being during their academic experience, it is imperative to also protect them to our fullest extent. Not only does ALCS have a closely monitored content filter to help protect our students from the malicious, harmful, explicit, and dangerous content that exists on the Internet; it also follows their Chromebooks wherever they go. That means that even when students are at home, a friend’s house, or the local coffee shop, their Chromebooks are still protected by our content filters.
In addition, student school Google accounts (including email and Google Docs) are continuously monitored for possible cases of harassment, grief, self-harm, and abuse via Securly's AI-driven student safety platform. Visit Securly for more info.
G-Suite (Google Apps) for Education and the Middle School Chromebook Program
Every 6th-8th grader receives a school-issued Chromebook to use at school and home for the duration of the school year. Aside from the convenience of having electronic textbooks, the Chromebooks bring personalized learning, collaboration, and 21st century learning to the forefront of the school’s academic experience. Students use their Chromebooks throughout the school year to create everything from essays and slide presentations to instructional videos and commercials, in addition to communicate and collaborate with their peers and teachers.
In addition, ALCS is a Google Apps for Education school, which allows each middle school student to be issued their own school Google account and email address that aids in enhancing collaboration and communication between the students and faculty, in a safe and encouraging digital environment that is closely monitored by school administrators. With supplemental computer instruction in Google Apps (including Docs, Slides, and Sheets) throughout the school year, our middle school students are exposed to and trained in everyday tools and collaborative skills that they are expected to master by high school, and learn to take increasing accountability for their own learning and personal responsibility. Please visit the Middle School Page to learn more about how ALCS teachers and students use Chromebooks to learn, engage, and interact.
Computer Classes & Classroom Technology
Every classroom from kindergarten-8th grade is equipped with an interactive whiteboard projector, a teacher iPad, and two computer workstations for student use. Preschool and elementary classes are also able to utilize a mobile iPad lab and Chromebook lab for interactive and collaborative learning opportunities.
Preschool-5th grade classes have computer class once per week and are instructed by our full-time computer teacher, while middle school computer classes meet twice weekly. All elementary and middle school classes are held in the computer lab in the middle school building, while preschool computer classes take place in their own “technology space” with the help of a mobile Chromebook lab. Additionally, teachers schedule additional time in the computer lab throughout the week for their own technology-based lessons.
Aside from weekly computer classes, below are some of the distinct offerings that are available to ALCS students on a daily basis.
Alta Loma Christian School's technical instruction is continually reevaluated and evolving in order to stay up-to-date with the latest emerging trends in educational technology. One aspect of our technology curriculum that remains consistent, however, is exposure and practice with foundational productivity tools - documents, visual slide presentations, and spreadsheets. Our students are exposed to Google Docs and Slides as early as kindergarten, and Google Sheets as early as first grade, as they use them to reinforce their classroom instructional objectives from language to science.
Beginning in 2013, Alta Loma Christian School began participating in the Hour of Code, a global movement to expose students of all ages around the world to introductory computer programming – known commonly as coding – using visual block programming. In 2015, ALCS integrated coding into the existing computer curriculum. By implementing a combination of tools and lessons found on Code.org, all students from preschool through eighth grade engage in coding, which is now considered an essential framework of 21st century skills that strengthen students’ abilities to think critically and creatively and prepare them for high school, college, and career. While preschool students learn how to perform precise tasks through platforms like The Foos and Box Island, eighth graders use Scratch and TinkerCAD to create animations. Alta Loma Christian School is currently one of the only school systems in Southern California to offer coding instruction to all age levels between preschool and middle school. Our primary objective for coding in the classroom is that our students would not simply be users of technology, but innovators and creators of it.
Adobe Creative Cloud
In 2016, Alta Loma Christian School became an Adobe Creative Cloud school, offering the full suite of Adobe products that have been the industry standard for everything from graphic design and photography to animation and video production. Every ALCS student is given an Adobe Creative Cloud educational account that gives them at-home access to the entire suite of Creative Cloud projects, allowing them the freedom to continue developing their creative skills and discover new opportunities at home.
3D Modeling / 3D Printing
In 2017, Alta Loma Christian School acquired it’s first 3D Printer – a MakerBot Replicator+ – thanks to a number of generous school families who pitched in their resources to allow the school to purchase it. Students in grades 2-8 are exposed to 3D modeling during computer time using TinkerCAD, learning how to navigate a virtual environment and design objects that could be 3D-printed. Among other things, ALCS students have designed and printed rescue boats, 3D models of atoms that they were able to see through the school’s VR headset, and 3D models of Solomon's temple.
In 2019, Alta Loma Christian partnered with the United States Forest Service and CalFire in designing and printing an innovative 3D community to demonstrate a sustainable and fire-safe community for Southern California. Although the public display was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ALCS and USFS returned to the vision in 2021 and completed the first design of New Hope, CA that was displayed at the L.A. County Fair for two consecutive years between 2022-2023. Read more about the innovative project here.
Considering the importance of spatial reasoning skills in math, science, and problem solving, our students are regularly encouraged to transfer their two-dimensional ideas into virtual 3D designs and, ultimately, tangible realities.
ALCS Tech Fair
In 2017, Alta Loma Christian School introduced its inaugural Tech Fair to highlight the technical and creative skills of our 2nd-8th grade students. The Tech Fair encourages students to push their own creative and independent learning boundaries in creating original products in video production, digital gaming, photography, animation, productivity design, graphic design, or graphic 3D modeling and present their creations to their peers. All participants also receive an ALCS Tech Fair spirit shirt and ice cream party. Click here to find out more about the latest Tech Fair and see some of the creative work of our “techies.”
Accelerated Reader & Freckle Math
Alta Loma Christian School participates in the Accelerated Reader and Freckle Math programs. These technology-based programs allow students to read books and master math skills that are appropriate to their individual levels, take quizzes on computer, and track their own performance in reading comprehension and math mastery, respectively. A wide selection of books are available to our students in our school library which contains over 6,000 titles. Parents can also connect to Accelerated Reader online to monitor their child’s progress.