Technology at Overlake is a means to better live our mission. We believe it is a powerful tool for enhancing learning and teaching, and aim to improve strategies, practices and infrastructure for the best use of relevant technologies. 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
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.
For a complete course outline, visit the College Board AP Computer Science Course Description.
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:
- Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
- Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
- Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
- 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.
For a complete course outline, visit the College Board AP Statistics Course Description.
ART | Art & Technology
In Art and Technology, students will be using various forms of high and low tech machines to create imaginative artworks. They will learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and will be working on digital photography, short films, simple animation, and much more. In addition, students will have the opportunity to design their own projects based on their experiences with the technology they are exposed to.
Art | Graphic Design
Studio Art recommended, but not required.
In this course, students will learn the basics of design as a means of communication. Students will use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as hands-on materials, to produce logo designs, posters, book jackets, candy bar wrappers, and more. In addition, students will learn about different designers and what it means to work in the Graphic Design field as a career.
Art | Intermediate Photography
Introduction to Photography. 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.
Intermediate Photography students will continue to explore what began in Intro to Photography. This course will focus on a deeper exploration of digital photography through the use of cell phone cameras, apps, digital SLR cameras, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
Art | Introduction to Photography
In this class, students will work with traditional darkroom and film techniques, as well as newer digital image making technology. Students will explore the basics of manual cameras using black and white film and printing their own photographs. The will also work with digital SLR cameras, cell phone cameras, and more, as they create a portfolio of images uploaded to their own web site throughout the course of the semester.
Art | Video Production
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.
In this semester-long course, students will explore the design, construction, and testing of digital scientific measurement devices. After an introduction to the Arduino platform and general concepts of digital electronics, students will work to create a range of sensors to be used in environmental observations and experiments. Students will explore the concepts of accuracy and precision as they develop protocols for calibrating their instruments. No previous experience with programming or digital electronics required.
Journalism in the Classroom: The Overlake Independent
Like to write? Take photos? Shoot video? Draw cartoons? Design flashy pages? Or just want to try your hand at one or more of those? The Overlake Independent offers all those opportunities in covering school news across multiple platforms: from Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat to a hard-copy magazine.
The course starts with the basics of reporting -- who, what, when, where, why and how – and then staff run weekly editorial meetings to plan which stories to tackle and where to publish them. Experienced journalists who have worked in both newspaper and digital newsrooms will provide feedback. Grades will be based on contributions to The Independent and improvements during the semester. Find your inner journalist through compelling writing and visuals!
Learning to Program
Programming language: Python. Intended for students with no prior programming experience, this course uses Pygame in a blended learning environment. Online tutorials are supported formally and informally by the instructor, who lectures only as needed to clarify concepts and prepare for upcoming units. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of program design through the creation of quizzes, games and puzzles. The assignments are fun and well-defined, and take 1--5 class periods to complete. The instructor keeps things moving along with frequent progress checks and quizzes, one-on-one help, troubleshooting and project guidance.
Post-AP CS: App Development
Successful completion of AP Computer Science or equivalent. Questions about permission should be emailed to Justin Morgan.
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
Successful completion of AP Computer Science or equivalent. Questions about permission should be emailed to Justin Morgan.
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.
Post-AP Stats: Research in R
AP Statistics or an equivalent course.
In this course students learn to use the free and powerful R programming language to produce and publish independent reproducible research. Students will begin by learning the basics of the R programming language and about the need for new standards in academic publication. They will learn firsthand about the hazards of working with large data sets and the importance of investigating data prior to analysis. Students will spend significant time learning how to create data visualizations in R and use these skills in their independent projects. Each student will investigate a question of interest by cleaning, subsetting and analyzing a large, publicly available data set entirely in R. Investigations, written in R Markdown, will be published on the RPubs website, providing an enduring item for student portfolios.
The Cold War
By understanding the historical development of the Cold War from multiple geopolitical perspectives, students will examine the legacy of the Cold War period as it relates to current international relations. The course digs into the origins of the Cold War, providing an overview of the different economic and political systems that characterized the tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. Examination as to how the Cold War affected Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America from multiple perspectives will provide context for topics like the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Soviet-Afghan War, and the Space Race. Discussions, simulations, primary-source readings, and student-designed projects will enable students to understand the legacy of the Cold War as it relates to twenty-first century geopolitical relationships and the continued diplomatic struggles that continue to affect our world today.
Theater | Theater Tech
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
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.
Help decide what's covered in the Overlake Odyssey while also developing editing, design and photography skills. Yearbook staff will brainstorm what theme to choose, as well as what topics to include, and everyone works on a variety of pages throughout the year. The main goal of this year-long class is to produce a high quality yearbook. One credit is earned for successful completion of Yearbook. However, it does not count toward fulfillment of the English requirement.