For years, Atlanta Public Schools used traditional whiteboards and Promethean boards to lecture students. “It wasn’t interactive or engaging at all,” says Aleigha Henderson-Rosser, Executive Director Instructional Technology. “It was no different than projecting onto a chalkboard.”
APS was ready for a change. In 2015, they began their quest for an effective 21st century classroom. After an extensive search involving participants from both technology and instruction, APS selected Boxlight’s interactive classroom as the foundational learning platform for middle and high school classrooms district-wide.
The turnkey solution includes the purchase, installation, service, support, and professional development of interactive flat panels, document cameras, slates, sound systems, pendant mics, and simultaneous display systems—all integrated with award-winning MimioStudio™ interactive lesson creation software. APS has equipped over 600 classrooms so far, with another 130 to be installed over the summer.
“In working through the procurement process for the LED panels, it was obvious that this could not be a technology-centered initiative,” said Olufemi Aina, Executive Director of Information Technology. “We had to partner with our Instructional Technology team and educators around the district to make the best decision for our classrooms.”
Keys to APS’s Success
Providing a common learning platform for teachers that supports the four Cs: critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. “The district has made the four Cs part of our culture and our language,” added Henderson-Rosser. “We’ve started integrating it into everything we do, and it is elevating how teaching and learning is happening in our classrooms—and we are readily able to do that with Boxlight as our technology partner.”
With close collaboration and true partnership between instruction and technology, APS created a new paradigm with the 21st century project. Instruction has to lead technology, but there also must be buy-in from both teams. Teachers not only need to have the equipment, they need to know how to use it effectively for instruction. Onsite professional development is a critical component to transforming our learning environments.
“There’s a huge difference,” concluded Henderson-Rosser. “The content is much richer and interactive. Students are highly engaged. Transformation in teaching and learning is happening in real time.”