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Today’s elementary, middle and high school students are tomorrow’s engineers, entrepreneurs, and leaders who must be equipped with strong computational thinking skills and the ability to solve complex problems. -- Barack Obama, January 30, 2016

Neil Cuadra

Neil Cuadra in the Palms computer classroom

Dr. Neil G. Cuadra

Palms Technology Committee

Technology Committee logo

The Palms Technology Committee

  • advises Palms administrators and Friends of Palms on matters of technology
  • helps with technology planning for classrooms, the Computer Lab, the Library, and the campus as a whole
  • identifies issues and solutions
  • does research when technology purchases are planned
  • helps manage the school website

Some committee members have also helped with installation, setup, and configuration of campus computers and provided website assistance to teachers.

Committee members conduct their discussions by email. Committee members are parents, teachers, and the Palms Assistant Principal in charge of technology. The Committee benefits from these multiple points of view.

If you have questions about technology at school or would like to help Palms with its technology, contact Friends of Palms.

Computer Science For All

The White House 2016 Computer Science For All initiative sought to "empower all American students from kindergarten through high school to learn computer science and be equipped with the computational thinking skills they need to be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers, and to be active citizens in our technology-driven world."

Computer education continues all over the country, as the next generation of students advances their computer skills.

Palms Middle School is a computer technology leader, with its iPad program, teachers who have integrated computers, apps, and use of the Internet into their teaching methods, a modern computer lab and library computers, and an after-school coding club.

For Teachers

Tips, lesson materials, stories, and other resources for teachers, from Apple:

Inspiration for Teachers

Neil's Technology Tips for Students

Learn to Code with Moana and Maui

Disney Hour of Code with Moana and Maui

Disney offers an online coding lesson based on the new movie characters Moana and Maui.

Watch the introductory videos, then give coding a try!

Click here to get started.

Hour of Code certificate

Learn Programming in One Hour!

Middle School Students: Would you like to be a computer programmer?

Watch the beginning programming tutorial at and in an hour you'll have learned the basics of programming. You'll learn how to give step-by-step instructions to a computer and tell it how to repeat steps in the correct order to solve a problem. The first lesson uses angry birds, evil pigs, and hungry zombies.

Guess who your teachers will be? These famous programmers:

  • Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook
  • Elena Silenok, creator of
  • Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft
  • Janete Perez from Zynga
  • Drew Houston, creator of Dropbox

Or, get a lesson in bot programming from Princess Leia and Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens! one-hour lesson

For teacher-taught programming classes, students can attend programming camps run by KidsCanCode.

There's also CoderDojo LA, for ages 7 to 18, hosted at venues such as Google LA, CAA and technology incubator Idealab. For the latest news see their website and Facebook page.

iPad Apps for Middle Schoolers

Source: Middle School apps by Subject

For Android apps I recommend Richard Byrne's Android 4 Schools blog.

Fun Summer Apps for Kids

If you have an iPad or iPhone, check out these fun apps for summer learning:

Fun Summer Learning for Kids

Summer Filmmaking and Storytelling Camps

Free movie-making or digital storytelling lessons are available to kids age 8 to 12 at Apple retail stores each summer.

Locations include the Apple stores in Century City and on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

Classes are typically held over three days with a 90-minute session each day.

Movies are made using Apple's iMovie and Garageband software. Campers can exhibit their finished masterpieces at an Apple Camp Film Festival on the third day.

Interactive Storytelling uses iBooks Author, with kids drawing illustrations on an iPad and then adding sound effects and touch features.

See Apple's Apple Camp page for details.

Project Bloks - A Google Research Project

Learn more at

Girls: Study Computer Science!

girls who code logogirls who code is a non-profit that works to close the "gender gap" in technology and engineering.

74% of middle school girls are interested in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

girls who code can help inspire you to follow that interest, with clubs and summer programs where girls in grades 6 through 12 can learn everything from robotics to mobile device software development to website design with HTML and CSS.

Non-profit Black Girls Code now has a program in Los Angeles for girls age 7 to 17.

Students: join their mailing list

Adults: volunteer to help