Category Archives: EdTech

Building Community in Grade 1

Grade 1 students have spent much of their school year exploring San Francisco and the people who live in our city. Students began by asking: How can we demonstrate good citizenship in our local community? Girls took walks around the Hamlin neighborhood in order to: make observations, think about the needs of a community, and speak with people who live and work nearby. 1st graders looked at different kinds of maps, made their own maps, and followed maps on the neighborhood walks. The girls also had an opportunity to explore their own home neighborhoods and teach their peers about what they discovered through creating poster boards with photos.

As part of this work, students conducted interviews with community members taking on various roles such as: interviewer, microphone expert, and photographer. Core to this project-based learning endeavor was the integration of technology for conducting interviews and sharing findings. Students utilized GarageBand, QR codes, and the Cardboard Camera app (among others). Hamlin’s tech team has been working with 1st grade teachers for multiple years to support and strengthen this far-reaching pedagogy.

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Salesforce Helps Grade 6 Design Bake Sale App

Grade 6 Social Studies students are studying the Eastern Hemisphere and the issue of water scarcity in countries like South Sudan and India. As part of their learning experience they are focusing on the struggle of women in the northern Thar Desert where resources are scarce, forcing girls to forgo school in order to walk long distances to get water for their families. Last year we partnered with the nonprofit OneProsper in order to help keep girls in school.

OneProsper International is working to empower girls in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India to break the cycle of poverty. Our holistic solution brings clean water, education and better nutrition to underprivileged girls living in the Thar Desert. 

In September 2017, OneProsper International began construction of rainwater harvesting tanks for 30 families in the Thar Desert which will impact 60 girls. The tanks will be completed in January 2018 and the girls will start attending school February 2018.

This year Grade 6 students are planning a series of bake sales to support OneProsper’s efforts to supply needed water filter technology, farming techniques, school tuition and supplies for each girl. Today Salesforce visited with students and introduced them to their Trailhead technology to create an app to improve bake sale results. Continue reading

App Design Elective Showcase

This morning, the Grade 7 App Design Elective showed their final projects to The Hamlin School’s Technology Advisory Committee. The semester-long course started with identifying real-world problems and researching existing options for solving those problems. Students then came up with their own solutions focusing on a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). They created a digital prototype of their app using Balsamiq Mockups and then used‘s App Lab to design and code their app in JavaScript. Today’s presentations included a slideshow of their process as well as a live demonstration of their app.

Watch the video to learn more specifics:


Salesforce Women Speak at Hamlin for Hour of Code

As part of our Hour of Code Week, we were visited this morning by two dynamic female engineers from Salesforce, Armita Peymandoust (Hamlin parent) and Ayori Selassie. They spoke about the mission of Salesforce, data science, artificial intelligence, developing apps, and what it takes to be a product manager. They also both shared their personal journeys from Iran (Ms. Peymandoust) and West Oakland (Ms. Selassie) to Salesforce, and how math and working with BASIC computer programming language provided them with initial guidance for their career trajectories.

They made the following points (among others):

-Salesforce believes in “doing good as you are doing well,” and demonstrates this by investing in San Francisco public schools and supporting the local community in multiple other ways.

-“Women make the best product managers because of their higher emotional intelligence.”

-“With code you can create anything, you can solve any problem that you think is important.”

-Coding can change the world for women by creating financial independence and allowing them to step out of traditional roles.

-A software engineer’s life is wonderful because you get to: build something and see results immediately, focus on the problem at hand, be a logical thinker, decompose life challenges into blocks, travel and work remotely.

STEMming the Gender Gap 2017

For the 3rd year running, The Hamlin School celebrated STEMming the Gender Gap Day on Friday, December 1. The day was an opportunity to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education/careers for our students, while connecting with female tech leaders in the Bay Area. Hamlin girls had the chance to observe, interact, and learn, as they prepare to be tomorrow’s tech innovators and help #StemGenderGap!

This year Hamlin partnered with a variety of fantastic Bay Area tech companies; we are incredibly thankful for our partnership with these organizations.

We had experiences at:

The Lawrence Hall of Science, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, The Exploratorium, Quizlet, Salesforce, POPSUGAR, Eventbrite, HoneyBook, Smitten, The Tech Museum of Innovation, UCSF, Spring Studio, RobotLAB, Matter of Trust, USS Hornet, SF Cable Car Museum & StoryCorps, and SFMOMA.

The following are some examples of what Hamlin girls engaged in:

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Hour of Code @Hamlin

During the week of December 4-8, 2017, The Hamlin School will be participating in the 5th annual Hour of Code, a global movement introducing computer programming to tens of millions of students in 180+ countries around the world, encouraging them to learn how to code. The initiative aims to demystify coding and show that anybody can learn the basics. Hamlin is both proud and excited to use this week, once again, to highlight our coding and robotics curriculum by having every student and faculty member code for at least one hour.

Hour of Code Events

In the Lower School, every class has been scheduled for at least an hour’s worth of coding instruction with Ms. Windell. Girls will use a variety of coding apps that have been selected to be developmentally appropriate for their age/skill level. These apps include Kodable, LightBot, Blockly Games: Maze, Human Resource Machine, as well as resources from the website.

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Technology, Physical Education, and The Hamlin Creed

Grade 6 students are working in teams to design an app that describes what they are learning in their PE rotations and how those skills relate to The Hamlin Creed.

The apps have four screens — one home screen and one screen for each rotation (climbing, dance, and group sports). Each student is responsible for creating one screen that describes the current rotation. The team works together to make the home screen.

Students brainstormed what the app would look like, considering colors, button types, and font size, while designing a uniform appearance for all four screens.

Below is an example of a screen that incorporates courage and respect from The Hamlin Creed:

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Grade 1 Community PBL Unit

There is so much I love about this unit. It has happened each year I have been at Hamlin, but as it is exemplary student-centered learning in action – it’s as different every year as the students who make the learning happen.

This year Rachel Davis did an incredible job in documenting the work and reflections of the Grade 1 students and their teachers, enjoy –

Thanks to all the teachers that came together and designed this learning experience!

Hamlin Students Win Technovation Pitch Challenge

On June 5th, Charlotte K. and Elanor M. won the regional Technovation Pitch contest. Girls ages 10 to 18 learn to identify a problem in their community and create a mobile app solution to address that problem, and then learn how to communicate these ideas and translate them into a fully launched business. They pitched their idea to panel of judges that included venture capitalists, technology executives, design consultants, and coders.

Details about their app:

Walk4Water is a mobile app that provides an incentive for young teens to stay fit and healthy using competition and social features while doing good in the world. When a user takes a thousand steps, 12 cents will be donated to charity: water, an organization that gives poverty-stricken communities access to clean, sanitary water closer to their homes. Girls in these communities won’t have to spend their time walking to find water; they can pursue an education. Teens worldwide can improve their daily lives and someone else’s while enjoying the competition and challenging their friends to go the extra mile.

The competition was very intense, Charlotte and Elanor worked many long hours on developing the business idea and coding a working app. They are now semifinalists for the World Pitch. On June 8th the 6 national finalists are announced to go to the World Pitch in August.

Watch their pitch video here:

To learn more about Technovation, please visit:

To learn more about charity: water, please visit:

Hamlin Travels the World with Google Expeditions

Today, Hamlin students had the opportunity to travel virtually to places like Chichen Itza, Mount Rushmore, and the village where Nelson Mandela grew up, through the technology of Google Expeditions. The immersive experience served to enhance both Spanish and Social Studies curriculum.

Google Expeditions enable teachers to bring students on virtual trips to places like museums, underwater, and outer space. Expeditions are collections of linked virtual reality (VR) content and supporting materials that can be used alongside existing curriculum. These trips are collections of virtual reality panoramas — 360° panoramas and 3D images — annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools. There are 600 expeditions to choose from.

Students used virtual reality headsets with Android phones to bring images to life. While the girls explored various places, Hamlin teachers provided narrative information about the locales.

Hamlin faculty member Rachel Davis states, Google Expeditions give students an opportunity to explore an area through immersion, they get to be involved in the whole experience.

Hamlin 5th graders loved Google Expeditions. We liked how we can see structures from both a side view and from above, it was like going on a learning vacation without getting on a plane.

Below is a video of Hamlin 3rd graders exploring Mount Rushmore:

To learn more about Google Expeditions, please visit: