Instructional Technology

The technology curriculum at Wesleyan addresses the reality that students’ technology needs are constantly changing.

Currently, students are always connected, multitasking, and digitally-oriented. They see technology as a vital part of their lives and can't imagine a world without a computer or a cell phone. These students expect fast communication responses and tune out when technology isn’t visually interesting. For them, technology is a tool for solving problems, researching information and enhancing their learning on any topic they choose. They like learning by inductive discovery rather than by simply listening or reading.

Wesleyan prepares students of all ages to use technology to access information, communicate, collaborate, and construct knowledge. In addition, we effectively instruct our students how to use the technology that permeates their lives in an ethical and moral fashion.

GradeStandardHonors
9th GradeAdvanced Computer Applications
Web Design
Animated Graphic Design
Digital Filmmaking
Physics and Engineering with Robotics
Fundamentals of Programming
Media Computation with Java

10th - 12th GradeAdvanced Computer Applications
Web Design
Animated Graphic Design
Digital Filmmaking
Physics and Engineering with Robotics
Fundamentals of Programming
Media Computation with Java
AP Computer Science - Java

Course Descriptions

Advanced Computer Applications


This one-semester course is designed to help students expand their skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Students will use the Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Master Collection, and various web-based tools. Project-based learning will be used; some projects will have a defined outcome, while others will be dependent on student choices.

Prerequisite: None (Open to Grade Levels 9-12; No Exam; Semester Course)

Web Design


This one-semester course allows students to evaluate and explore the key elements of web design. Students will learn photo-enhancing and creative skills with Photoshop; create interesting, graphic-rich movies using Flash animation; and use web-authoring tools to create various web pages. In addition, students will review copyright laws and on-line etiquette; evaluate the effectiveness of websites; explore color theory and its impact on web development; and identify criteria for viewing web pages on various devices.

Prerequisite: None (Open to Grade Levels 9-12; No Exam; Semester Course)

Animated Graphic Design


This one-semester course will focus on creative problem solving through the development of cartoons and games. This course will be taught primarily in Adobe Flash. We will learn how to develop storyboards; create animations with characters, text and sounds; and code with ActionScript to create games. No artistic ability is needed.

Prerequisite: None (Open to Grade Levels 9-12; No Exam; Semester Course)

Digital Filmmaking


This one-semester course offers students a chance to create their own short films, complete with their own unique soundtracks. All students get "hands on" experience with digital film, cameras, and tripods. We also watch a number of short films in class to learn about techniques (including some special effects). Students are required to storyboard ideas and then work alone or in groups to create several short film projects. Tips for working efficiently with video editing software are examined, along with advanced editing skills like nesting sequences and clip management strategies. Other course features include color keying to remove backgrounds, editing multi-track audio and audio effects, color correction, and troubleshooting problems.

Prerequisite: None (Open to Grade Levels 9-12; No Exam; Semester Course)

Physics and Engineering with Robotics


This one-semester course allows students to explore the interrelationships between math, physics, coding, and engineering as they collaboratively design, build, and test robots to complete specific tasks as part of a game. Students will be introduced to aspects of the engineering design process and use critical thinking and creative problem solving skills to develop a successful design. As part of the building process, students will gain theoretical and hands-on skills in the mechanical, electrical, and software aspects of robot design and construction. In addition, students will learn about and participate in the technical documentation process. By the end of the semester, students will have a deeper understanding of physics and engineering, as well as a working robot!


Prerequisite: None (Open to Grade Levels 9-12; Lab Science; One-Semester Course)

Fundamentals of Programming


This one-semester course introduces students to the field of computer science in a fun and engaging way. Students will use Alice to create cartoon characters and make them interact by creating an animated video and a simple game. Students will also employ a hands-on approach to programming by building and programming robots that can move and respond to stimuli. They will collaborate to build the robots and compete in various challenges.

Prerequisite: None (Open to Grade Levels 9-12; No Exam; Semester Course)

Media Computation with Java


This one-semester course is designed to introduce students to the Java programming language. Students learn about computer science by writing programs that will manipulate media. Students will create and modify images, such as correcting "red-eye" and generating negative images. Students will modify sounds by splicing words into sentences or reversing sounds to make interesting effects. This course allows students to see how Java is used by major animation studios to program animations and effects in movies. Experimenting with programming can and should be fun! This course is designed to prepare a student for AP Computer Science and for college-level programming courses.

Prerequisite: None (Open to all Grade Levels 9-12; No Exam; Semester Course)

Advanced Placement Computer Science – Java


This year-long course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement exam in Computer Science. Advanced Placement Computer Science is a course taught at the introductory college level, and is designed for the accelerated student who is interested in pursuing advanced topics in computer science. This course is taught using the Java programming language, with emphasis on object-oriented programming and analysis of algorithms. We will emphasize general problem-solving techniques and the writing of programs that are well-designed and well-documented. Topics will include sorting and searching algorithms, recursion, classes, and object-oriented design. Every student will take an exam at the end of first semester and will be required to take the Advanced Placement exam in May.

Prerequisite: Algebra II. Must have department chair approval. (Open to Grade Levels 10-12; Full-Year Course)


Department Guidelines for AP Course Placement

AP Computer Science - Java

This class is open to students in grades 10–12.
Acceptance is based upon a rubric that includes previous mathematics grades, teacher recommendations, PSAT mathematics scores, and overall GPA.

Rising sophomore requirements:
  • Complete the AP Computer Science application.
  • Must be an exceptional student with a recommendation by a freshman math teacher who can attest to their logic and reasoning abilities, diligence, and work ethic.
  • Take Media Computation with Java as a freshman.
  • Must have an average of 90% (weighted) in Algebra II Honors.
Rising junior and senior requirements:
  • Complete the AP Computer Science application.
  • Must have an 87% average in all high school mathematics courses, and their most recent course must be at the honors level.
  • Media Computation with Java is a recommended precursor to AP Computer Science. In lieu of Media Computation with Java, the AP teacher may elect to give a summer assignment.

Approval of the technology department chair is also required.

Students transferring to Wesleyan at the beginning of the junior or senior year must meet the above criteria and additionally must pass an entrance exam into the selected AP course.