Technology @ Marvelwood

Marvelwood currently offers two programming-level courses: Computer Science Programming and Computer Science Databases. In Computer Science Programming, students are introduced to three aspects of programming: HTML and JavaScript, Visual Basic, and Visual C#.

HTML and JavaScript are the “languages of the web"; every web page uses these two languages to provide content for and interaction with the web user. The HTML portion of the programming class shows students the fundamentals of language and how to build web pages; the JavaScript portion shows how to make the web pages “do things". The class uses the Microsoft Web Developer Integrated Development Environment (IDE). By utilizing the same tools as professional programmers, Marvelwood seeks to give students a boost if they decide to enter the programming world.

Visual Basic, or simply VB, is the 4th most commonly used IDE in industry today. VB makes for a great introduction to the world of programming because it is easy to read and understand. With VB, students build actual Windows-based applications, which include commonly used program elements such as text boxes for input, clickable buttons, drop down lists, and popular menu items such as File, Edit, Help, etc.

Visual C# one of the most popular development platforms in use today. Similar in nature to VB, C# also allows students to create Windows-based applications, but with a different underlying language. This portion of the class also explores what is needed for programs to be converted from one language to another by having the students take one of their VB programs and convert it to C#.

Computer Science Databases offers much more than the name implies. The course starts off with an introduction to databases using Microsoft SQL Server, one of the most popular database systems in use today. Students learn the fundamentals of being a database administrator by creating their own database and populating them with information. Students are introduced to Structured Query Language (SQL) and learn to use this language to create, modify and populate their databases. They also learn to use Microsoft Access, a popular desktop database application that is used to create database query forms, also known as data entry forms. The class culminates with a project that combines the two technologies, where students create databases in SQL Server and MS Access.

The Database class also features an introduction to smartphone programming, specifically the Android platform. Using a web-based Android teaching tool developed by MIT, students learn aspects of programming for the newest “computer" devices, their own smartphones. Students learn the fundamentals of how to get their devices to do what they want them to, including sound and vibration.

In addition to the two programming classes, IT Director Tim Smith and IT Associate Steve Malinowski work to meet the technology needs of the community. Some of the new IT Department initiatives include:

  • Computer Loaner Program – if students or faculty are in need of a loaner laptop, the IT Department can meet their needs. The loaners are not the fanciest machines around, but provide the basics including Internet connectivity and Microsoft Office applications.
  • Computer Repair – Sometimes things break; it's just a fact of life. The IT Department can evaluate computers that are not working, and when needed, send them out locally for repair. The repair facility can handle just about any type of equipment.
  • Wireless Network Infrastructure – the campus network, both wired and wireless, is constantly monitored and, when needed, upgraded to meet the needs of the community. During the summer of 2013 the wireless network was completely redesigned and rebuilt to support the many devices used by our students and faculty.

As we look to the future, the IT Department and the Computer Science curriculum will continue to expand, making Marvelwood the place to be to learn about and use technology.

Contact Tim Smith with any questions about technology @ Marvelwood