How One School District Found Affordable Classroom Technology with Mimio
The largest district in the state of Montana, Billings Public Schools (BPS), was first introduced to Mimio in 2001, after Technology Integration Specialist Desiree Caskey secured a $1,000 grant from Billings’ school foundation to outfit classrooms with interactive whiteboards. She began researching what solutions might work, but soon realized that the district couldn’t afford the usual fixed whiteboard models. With a bit more research, she found the MimioTeach interactive whiteboard. Since the MimioTeach system uses the dry erase boards already in the classroom – and the device can easily be moved from classroom to classroom – its price is much more affordable.
“The Mimio technology has become the basis for my lesson
preparation and has enhanced both the way I teach and the involvement of my students in their learning process.”
- Bill Baumann, Teacher
Enjoying the benefits of the MimioTeach system
“The price can’t be beat for what you are able to do,” Caskey says. “It’s really a pop-up interactive system that adds value when needed.”
Caskey notes that teachers soon began taking the MimioTeach bar to the teachers’ lounge to work on developing lessons together, using the system’s embedded MimioStudio™ classroom software.
School foundation supports expansion of Mimio technology
By the summer of 2010, BPS decided to expand its use of the Mimio interactive classroom technology. Sixteen teachers in four Billings schools were given a MimioTeach interactive whiteboard, a MimioView™ document camera, a MimioPad™ wireless pen tablet for controlling the interactive whiteboard, a projector, and a laptop – plus three days of staff development with Mimio training specialists.
“Now I’m assessing in the middle of a lesson, instead of
waiting until the end.”
- Lindsey McCloud, Social Studies Teacher
BPS middle schools all acquired the MimioVote™ assessment, and Caskey showed them how to use the handsets for quizzes, self-paced tests, classroom contests, or quick, mid-lesson polls. The teachers say that the handsets give them a quick and easy way to see who is participating and who is not, as well as who understands the subject matter and who is struggling. BPS math teacher Monica Stapleton told Caskey that students have started to ask when they are going to be tested again, saying, “I want to use those MimioVotes again.”
MimioConnect and MimioVote: A winning combination
Caskey has also encouraged BPS teachers to take advantage of the MimioConnect® online community for educators. Teachers can view MimioConnect video clips on YouTube in order to enhance their understanding of how to use the different devices and perform tasks in MimioStudio software. They can also take advantage of the MimioConnect library of lessons, activities, and graphics, as well as the lesson files posted to mimioconnect.com by other educators across the country.
BPS teachers embrace technology implementation
Teacher training is ongoing in the BPS district. Every year, Caskey teaches a 12-hour “Exploring Mimio Technology” course. Teachers receive continuing education credits and have the chance to see several examples of how to use and expand lessons using MimioStudio software. Caskey offers this advice: “Don’t be afraid if students seem to be able to use it better than you. Just exhale and tell yourself that you can do this.”
Learn more about the Billings Public Schools’ experience with Mimio technology and read our other case studies.