The exciting state of technology at USJ

USJ students use technology every day in the classroom. Many of these advances have been incorporated by our teachers as they study and learn new ways to provide the best education for our students.


Upper School

  • Students in the broadcast journalism class film and broadcast USJ events. If you miss a game, a musical, or even a school assembly, just connect to the USJ website and enjoy the show!

  • The Upper School offers a semester course on "Computer Programming & Robotics." Students learn engineering principles in building moving robots that interact with the environment and write event-driven programs to control the robots.

  • Photoshop and other software are used to enhance the conventional photography class to a state-of-the-art opportunity for our students.

  • "Google docs" is used by students to store, share, and collaborate on documents in real-time. No need for a thumb drive and no issues with different operating systems. Access to the internet means access to the documents ... anywhere, anytime.

  • Each year Art, Literature, and Music students create and publish the USJ Literary and Fine Arts Journal, Between the Lines, featuring work by our USJ students. They use the Adobe Creative Suite Software to publish, edit, draw, design, organize and compile the magazine. Make sure to pick up a copy of this impressive student-created publication ($15 at the school)!

  • AP Art students submit portfolios digitally for AP and College Boards. Students use "Dropbox.com" to store and share slide shoots and images that can be accessed from any computer or Smart Phone. These classes also offer two electronic "Drawing Tablets" that use a pad and pen to sketch directly to a computer screen.

  • Chemistry and Forensic Science classes use Vernier Lab Pros with graphing calculators to collect and analyze data. The interface uses a variety of sensors to measure temperature, gas pressure, conductivity, pH, voltage, and light transmittance.

  • Our physics lab is just as advanced as are many college physics labs. It offers "interfacing" with computers to record measurements like position, velocity, acceleration, force, and temperature. The data can then be graphed and analyzed in many different ways.

  • The AP Psychology class incorporates social media group pages on Facebook and Twitter as a learning and communication tool. The students and teacher supplement course content with current research articles, videos and other items that they have found to be interesting and appropriate to the content being studied.

  • The production of the Lower School and Upper/Middle School yearbooks is a result of technology combined with students' creativity and organizational skills. Upper School yearbook students produce both yearbooks online through the publisher's design program. Students learn to place, size, and edit pictures; scan pictures; place and edit textual material; and perform other design work. Students also design ads for businesses and sponsors and create videos to market the yearbooks.

  • Through the use of Garage Band, students in Upper School English classes create podcasts, which depict original student works of literature. Students in 12th grade English produce podcasts in which they orally interpret selected poems, adding suitable musical and artistic accompaniment.
Upper and Middle School

  • Music and Choir classes allow students the opportunity to create their own music through the use of Garage Band, Quaver and other software programs. Computer technology is used to teach the fundamentals of music theory, and students use this technology to create their own music and presentations. Students are given assignments that utilize iPods, iPads, MP3 players, and laptops for presentations to the class.

  • Students utilize electronic databases such as Jstor and Facts on File in their research projects.
Middle School

  • Middle School Computer students become familiar with the iPad2 and many computer skills through their computer classes. Students practice hardware and computer setup as well as many features of Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint instruction. Students import pictures, use ClipArt, learn MLA Research Paper formats, create business cards, and have a continual focus on improving their keyboard skills.

  • Many of our teachers incorporate PowerPoint embedded with videos and pictures into their lectures and make them available on the teacher website. In addition, each seventh grade student creates and presents an elaborate PowerPoint presentation for seventh grade history. (Parents - if you need PPT help, ask your 7th grader!)

  • In sixth grade science, "WeatherBug.com" provides live weather conditions from around the world and our own weather station (JKKSN), and is used during the most "weather-active" times of year. Students learn weather symbols, interpret maps and charts, and connect classroom material to their daily lives!
Lower School

  • All classrooms at the Lower School are equipped with SMART Interactive Projectors, which allow teachers to create lessons so students can be directly involved with the content. The interactive quality of the lessons catches students’ interest and gives teachers a chance to evaluate their understanding. Teachers are making use of the SMART Exchange to view lessons created by other teachers and sharing their own lessons on SMART Exchange.

  • Every classroom at the Lower School has two classroom computers connected to the Internet, which are used for a variety of enrichment or practice activities. Students can go to Math sites and practice their facts or research a topic that has been introduced in Science or Social Studies. These classroom computers also are used for Accelerated Reader testing in grades two through five.

  • Our new iPad carts are used every day by classes for a variety of activities including practicing skills, investigating topics, identifying trees, and creating stop-motion videos to demonstrate a verb. Teachers sign up for the iPad carts and can request the installation of applications they want to use in their classrooms.

  • In the Lower School computer lab, we have a Skype account, which is used by classes to interact with authors and others to enrich their classroom studies.

  • Finally, the Lower School Technology Curriculum follows the National Educational Technology Standards and includes units on cyber safety, Internet research, document production, the use of presentation software, and keyboarding awareness. Students in Kindergarten come to the lab for a four-week introduction to mouse control. First through fifth graders attend class once a week and learn everything from formatting font styles and MLA style reports to drawing with Microsoft Word tools and creating Excel spreadsheets. Students are taught how to research a topic, giving credit to their sources, and learn how to take notes as they research. Third through fifth graders learn to create PowerPoints and slideshows to showcase their research on topics related to classroom studies on Recycling, the 50 states, and famous Americans.

Throughout the School

  • Teachers have their own websites. Programming allows teachers to create and update their websites through any computer using any Internet browser. The websites are valuable tools for teachers to post everything from spelling words and assignments to PowerPoint presentations of class lectures and other information from their classroom.
  • Students (and their parents) access grades, homework assignments and other classroom information online through NetClassroom.
  • Both campuses have wireless Internet.
  • Discovery Education, a video streaming program, enhances student learning through the use of video clips and images! It's great, especially for science!
  • Classrooms on both campuses have interactive projectors, and teachers use document cameras on a regular basis to enhance the curriculum.