An opportunity for students to develop critical skills necessary for today's world.

This new program will begin in the 2017–18 school year with the Class of 2021 taking Digital Literacy courses. Literacies are an exciting student-centered, experiential learning program that seeks to develop proficiency with the tools of technology, give opportunities to pose and solve problems collaboratively, design and share information for a variety of purposes, and analyze and synthesize multiple streams of information. Students will learn to code, understand computers, design projects, make and use machines, speak in public and communicate with others, and think systematically.

Literacies also give students an opportunity to learn important non-cognitive skills through planned curriculum, such as perseverance, resilience, self-advocacy and the ability to work with others. All of these skills will be used at WRA, in college and beyond.

Freshman Digital Literacy Courses 2017–18

Learning to Code: This course is an exploration of our digital world. Students will learn how data is digitally encoded and transmitted. They will deepen their understanding of the internet and the underlying structure of digital devices. Students will have time to consider the power of current technology and the possibilities for the future. The course also offers the opportunity to discuss the societal impact of our digital technologies through discussion of current events and challenges. Throughout the course, students will learn basic programming skills and concepts that will translate to any programming language. Students will work individually and collaboratively to create dynamic apps to solve a variety of problems using the JavaScript language.

Learning to Make: This course is a hands-on introduction to personal fabrication and innovation in WRA’s Center for Technology, Innovation & Creativity (The Center). Students learn to use various available technologies to create, fabricate and test objects. The course specifically looks at design thinking, computer-aided design, computer controlled cutting, electronics production, 3D scanning and printing, electronics design, machining, molding and casting, input devices, output devices, composites, mechanical design, invention and intellectual property. The course allows freshmen to use the tools of The Center to build and figure out how things work while providing the essential characteristics of the growth mindset. Making supports the taking of knowledge and putting it into reality and this course, taught in The Center, will foster the making ethos of innovation, creativity, risk taking and the iterative process. Students in this course can explore their own interests to develop creative projects that foster critical thinking, entrepreneurship, communication and collaboration while engaged in active learning with others. Students will demonstrate their competence by completing a series of projects in each category.