How was your classroom arranged this last school year? How did the arrangement affect your instructional practice? How did it affect student learning? Do you think having an audio system might have made a positive difference for everyone in the classroom?
Barry Sunder, Central Regional Manager with Boxlight, recently spoke with Larry Jacobs from Equity and Access Pre K-12 (ace-ed.org) on how large interactive flat panel displays can improve engagement for students with special needs. Sunder who has experience working with students with special needs, as well as a wife and sister who are both Special Education teachers, shares that in special needs classrooms, the use of technology has “gone up another level.” Referencing an experience his sister had with a student, he says, “His attention span was about 15-20 seconds. He has seizures. When he got in front of that board, (his) time with seizures was reduced. He was up there focused on that activity.”
Shamrock Independent School District (Shamrock, TX, U.S.) has long strived to provide its teachers and students with innovative technology to engage and boost active participation in all grades, whatever the situation. A case in point, they were able to respond quickly to school closures due to the pandemic because they are a 1:1 school and students could connect to remote learning without extensive issues.
Pre-pandemic, the thought of incorporating flipped or blended learning, self-paced learning, video conferencing, and creating videos to teach key concepts or skills was seen as reserved mostly for virtual schools that catered to families that wanted an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar schooling or for especially ‘high-tech savvy’ educators who could deftly handle quickly changing technology. Of course, the pandemic and consequent school closures changed all that, and educators, students, and parents had to learn to navigate online learning fairly quickly. For teachers who were comfortable with the tried and true, front-of-class style of instruction, switching to tech tools for creating, assigning, grading, and facilitating lessons was a steep learning curve. But here we are, over a year later, and many teachers have found that they have become incredibly adept at using these same tools if not more so.
Bennington Public Schools (Bennington, NE) is a quickly growing district that has gone from one K-12 school in 2005 to six schools today, including a new elementary school that opened two years ago. Bennington expects to open two more elementary schools, and another middle school and high school within the next 10 years. According to the district website, their mission is “to provide educational opportunities in a safe, caring environment that will prepare all students to meet the challenges of the future.”
The Boxlight team sends out a huge congratulations to Trox and Tierney on coming together to form one powerhouse of a business across the USA and Canada. Trox is our number one partner for Mimio, our K-12 division, and Tierney our number one Clevertouch customer and exclusive partner in the USA. This new super business will bring untold benefits to their customers as well as the Boxlight brands Mimio and Clevertouch.
Topics: Education Technology
Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children (Greensburg, PA) was looking to update and innovate their learning environments. To meet the needs of their students, who range in age and ability levels – 5-years to 21-years-old, Higher Functioning to Lower Functioning – the school wanted education technology that would engage their students while being easy-to-use. They recognized that to better meet each students’ Individualized Education Plan (IEP), a variety of tools and resources were necessary including innovative technology.
With almost a year of considerable use of education technology, including web-enabled devices, large-screen interactive panel displays, video conferencing software, learning management systems, and web cameras, the need to keep students safe is greater. At the beginning of the school year, most districts made sure parents and students signed some type of Acceptable Use Agreement for online learning and digital resources to ensure a safe learning environment. What are general safety reminders and expectations teachers and parents need to make sure are followed?