Technology @ Marvelwood
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. Using the Microsoft Visual Basic 2010 Express development tool, 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. In this class, we write our own version of Notepad text editor and a working web browser.
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. Using the Microsoft Visual C# Express 2010 development ttol, students build working applications such as a calculator and a working MP3 music player dubbed “pterodacTunes”.
Computer Science Database/ Apps 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 works to meet the technology needs of the community. Some of the new IT 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 Computer Science curriculum will continue to expand, making Marvelwood the place to be to learn about and use technology.