Information Literacy & Technology

The mission of Overlake’s Technology Program is to provide technological leadership, expertise, and systems to support learning. Our vision is to cultivate an inclusive community of learners who comprehend and control the transformational power of technology for good, recognizing the social and moral impact of modern technologies. We seek to foster the intentional use of technology to better live Overlake’s mission and values, and in doing so, to promote the lifelong skill of learning how to learn.

The school's academic departments, library and technology staff work together to support the school's mission and curricular goals.

To that end, Overlake offers discrete courses in technology that are collaborations with other academic departments, such as Math and Computer Science, Arts, and Social Studies. We place a strong emphasis on technology integration into all academic courses with assistance from our Instructional Coach for Technology and our technology team. Our student device program and our learning management system, Canvas, are also critical tools in integrating technology throughout the program. Please visit the Technology site to learn more about technology at Overlake.

AP Computer Science

Full-year elective. 10th-12th grades only. This course is recommended as a second math elective. Seek departmental advice if taking this course in lieu of a course in the normal sequence.

Algebra II

AP Computer Science covers the course content defined by the College Board's AP curriculum and prepares students for the advanced placement exam in May. The course teaches the Java programming language and reviews and elaborates on the fundamental methods of object-oriented programming. Much of the material is based on the implementation and analysis of common data structures including arrays and array lists. Basic algorithms for sorting and searching are presented and their asymptotic behavior is analyzed. Students enhance their program design, implementation, testing, and debugging skills through frequent programming projects. Finally, they gain experience reading, understanding and modifying a substantial pre-existing program.

View the College Board AP Computer Science Course Description.

AP Statistics

Full-year elective. This course is intended as a second math elective and cannot be taken in lieu of a course in the normal sequence until the senior year. Even seniors are strongly encouraged to take their regular math course concurrently.

Algebra II

The purpose of the AP course in statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:

  1. Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
  2. Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
  3. Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
  4. Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses

Successful AP statistics students have good quantitative reasoning, good reading comprehension, clear written communication and consistent study habits. Students will be challenged to think critically about data, to use statistical methods with a deep level of understanding, and to write persuasive responses to real-world questions. A graphing calculator will be the student’s constant companion.

View the College Board AP Statistics Course Description.

Art | Art & Technology

7th and 8th grade semester elective.

In Art and Technology, students will be using various forms of “high tech” and “low tech” machines to create imaginative works of art. As they learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, students will utilize art-making apps on iPads and explore digital photography, as well as short films, simple animation, simple machines, and much more. In addition, students will have the opportunity to design their own projects using the skills they gained through experimenting, taking creative risks, practicing, and refining, all while having fun in the process.

Art | Graphic Design

Upper School semester elective. 9th graders with permission only.

Graphic Design is web sites, signs, products, books, clothing, and more! Basically, it’s everywhere! In this course, students will learn how to use design as a means of visually communicating ideas. Students will learn Adobe PhotoshopAdobe IllustratorProcreate, and use hands-on materials to produce logo designs, posters, food packaging, book jackets, and more. In addition, students will learn about different designers and what it means to work in the Graphic Design field as a career. This is a great course for those who want to apply their creativity to a practical application and for those who want to learn new skills in the visual arts.

Art | Photography 1

Upper school semester elective.

Photography is an incredible way for people to understand and appreciate multiple perspectives and the world around us. This course will help students understand the difference between candids and fine art photography. Over the course of the semester, students will become stronger photographers through experimentation with digital cameras (DSLR), cell phone cameras, and Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Each student will build a web site which will act as their portfolio and will be updated with a new page for every assignment. Students do not need to have their own digital camera to take the course.

Art | Photography 2

Upper School spring semester elective.

Photography 1. If you have prior photography experience, but have not taken a course at Overlake, you will need to show examples of your work and get written permission from Danielle Troy.

Photography 2 students will continue exploring digital photography with an emphasis on experiencing multiple perspectives of self and others. This course will focus on creative photography through in-depth skill building as well as more personal choice in the assignments. This course also allows students to explore 35mm black and white film photography and darkroom printing. Tools used for this class will be cell phone cameras, smartphone apps, digital SLR cameras, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Students do not need to have their own digital camera to take this course.

Computer Science Principles

Semester elective

No computer science or programming prerequisite required.


A deeper dive into app development than Computer Science Foundations, students build on ideas and concepts introduced in Computer Science Foundations to further explore the development of projects based on student-driven ideas and develop a basic understanding of the underlying architecture of the internet and world-wide web. Topics includes event-driven programming, data structures, networking architecture, cryptography, and data manipulation . Over the course of the semester students will use an online curriculum and an online development environment to develop Android applications on their own physical devices.  

Post-AP CS: App Development

Semester elective. 11th and 12th grades only.

Successful completion of AP Computer Science or equivalent. Questions about permission should be emailed to the department chair.

Programming language: Java. Students with a working knowledge of object-oriented programming fundamentals in java will be given the opportunity to further practice and extend those skills in this applied course. This course focuses on student engagement in the learning process through a practical, collaborative approach that allows for a creative and authentic experience. The majority of activities will be centered around learning and practicing the details of developing mobile apps using core OOP principles and various APIs available. Concepts related to the process rather than coding, such as best practices of mobile development and strategies of completing large projects in teams, will be presented and implemented as well. The final goal of the course will be to complete, in a group, a thoroughly polished Android app incorporating all skills learned during the semester.

Post-AP CS: Data Structures

Semester elective. 11th and 12th grades only.

Successful completion of AP Computer Science or equivalent. This course closely models UW's CSE 122. Students should take UW's Self-Placement Guide to be sure they're at the level required for CSE 122. Questions about permission should be emailed to the department chair.

Programming Language: Java. The AP Computer Science prerequisite course prepares students with little to no prior experience to understand and engage in object-oriented programming with the Java language. This course gives students the skills generally attained during the second course in a college-level CS introductory sequence. The goals of this course build upon and extend the content from the AP course, requiring a thorough understanding of the previous learning objectives. This course primarily presents concepts of data abstraction and encapsulation. The structures taught and implemented include stacks, queues, linked lists and binary trees, as well as comparisons to arrays and array lists. Students also gain experience with recursion, analysis of complexity, and use of predefined collection classes. They use the concepts presented in class to create, debug, modify, and test a variety of programming projects of differing complexity.


Technology and Social Change: Life in the Coming Years

Semester elective. Open to all students in 11th and 12th grades and to students in 10th grade by permission of the department head.

Most social studies courses explore the past.  This course explores the future.  What will the coming decades be like?  How will current and newly developing technologies alter not only our daily lives but perhaps what it means to be human? How will an internet a billion times more powerful than today’s empower humanity? What changes might augmented reality and AI bring? What happens when machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence?  Given that the coming decades will likely bring the greatest changes in human history so far, what do you need to know to better understand our rapidly changing world? What challenges, dangers, and opportunities lie before us and what skills might you need to successfully navigate the future?  Although we will explore multiple areas of coming change, most of the course will focus on technological changes based on current expert predictions for the next 20 years and less certain theories about the decades beyond.

Theater | Theater Tech

7th and 8th grade semester elective.

This class is dedicated to learning the fundamentals of theatre design and technology. Students will become familiar with the different areas of design: costume, scenic, lights and sound, and they will have time to experiment with the tools we use to bring these designs to life. Students gain a deeper understanding of how theatre technology supports a performance and will have a chance to showcase their skills by working on practical projects for school productions.

Theater | Video Production

7th and 8th grade semester elective.

In this class, students will have the opportunity to develop story ideas through the medium of digital video. This course emphasizes hands-on skill development through learning and practicing camera and editing techniques. The class explores story from a cinematic point of view and considers live action film-making and animation through class projects. Students will explore editing with Adobe Premiere for live action projects and iStopMotion or Flash for animation.

Theater | Video Production

Upper school semester elective. Students who have taken Video Production in Middle School or in Upper School may take this course as “Video Production II” which will give them the opportunity to explore filmmaking at a more advanced level. Students may write screenplays, use a video lighting kit, and produce more in-depth film projects.

This class emphasizes hands-on skill development through learning and practicing camera and editing techniques. Students explore visual storytelling from a cinematic point of view and consider various film styles. Participants have the opportunity to develop several story ideas using digital video and stop motion animation. Adobe Premiere, Flash and iStopMotion are some of the programs students utilize to create movies.


Jay Heath
Director of Technology, Institutional Research, and Strategic Plan Management