AS A COLLEGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL, WHY IS BRIARCREST NOT A ONE-TO-ONE STUDENT COMPUTING SCHOOL?
Briarcrest makes extensive use of technology and has one of the most robust technology infrastructures in the Memphis school community. We have over 800 computing devices available for student use in connection with instructional activities. These include a wide variety of devices ranging from powerful desktops, touch-screens, laptops and iPads. These are available in a variety of venues that optimize instructional benefit, including computer labs, stations in the libraries and classroom, and carts that teachers bring into the classrooms when needed.
To prepare our high school students in college math, our Pre-Calculus program uses an innovative blended program that blends an online college-level program with in-class traditional instruction. Additionally, our Geometry students have teacher-made podcasts available for the review of difficult concepts. Our fine arts department has put all of their sheet music on student iPads. These are great examples of how our focus is always on the best functionality for instruction, not just using technology for technology’s sake.
Briarcrest is a college preparatory school. While many college students use a computing device in the course of a day’s academic pursuits, most college professors do not care whether or not students use one in the classroom. The same is true at Briarcrest. If a student works best in class on a computing device, that’s fine. If a student prefers taking notes with pen a paper, that’s fine too. Technology is simply one tool for learning. The tool is not important. The best vehicle for each individual student’s learning is what matters.
High school and, to a more controlled degree, Middle school students may bring their own laptops or other approved devices to school to use. Based on our observations, the percentage of students who do so is similar to the percentage of students who do so in college classrooms. That is what one would expect in a college prep school.
At Briarcrest, the best curriculum drives the instructional decisions, not simply what curriculum is available electronically. There is some excellent curriculum available electronically, but that is not always the case in every grade and subject.
The use of computing devices is well monitored by teachers so that it does not become an unstructured distraction to learning rather than a benefit. Our program is structured in a way that minimizes distractions and maximizes the focus on the subject matter, not the device.
If you have questions about Briarcrest’s technology program or our college prep curriculum, please contact our Admissions Office at 901-765-4654 or the appropriate division level Principal.