South Allegheny School District (McKeesport, PA) promotes the pursuit of knowledge by helping foster communication, collaboration, creative problem solving, and personal responsibility. South Allegheny serves about 1500 students and district leaders recognized that a “level playing field” was needed. The district previously added interactive whiteboards and projectors to help teachers engage students in new ways, and even had six interactive displays for use with the intent of incorporating more technology to boost engagement. Unfortunately, there was a lack of use with this educational technology. The solution? A district-wide investment in interactive displays in each classroom.
There are countless rewarding moments in teaching, but we can agree that when we see students totally excited about a new topic, concept, or skill, we are as overjoyed as they are! This is what teaching is all about – seeing the spark of understanding in students’ eyes when they are actively involved in learning something new. We feed off that energy and look for ways to create more of these experiences. Excitement for learning is increasingly associated with educational technology that invites interaction such as a touchscreen or interactive displays.
As many people can attest to, if we aren’t totally keeping up with the basics of technology such as using a PC, reading and sending e-mail, and searching the internet for content, the digital divide – the gap between those who can benefit from using communication technology and those who cannot -- widens and creates a chasm for those who are lacking key 21st-century skills. This is a concern for many education decision-makers since they understand that today’s students need essential technological skills to compete in the future job market.
We are living in a time when we can tap, scroll, and swipe through information in a matter of seconds. Decisions can be made easily on our devices – phones, PCs, even large displays that are touch-capable. In more and more classrooms, teachers are moving from throw projectors and whiteboards to interactive displays (also known as interactive flat panel displays, interactive panels, interactive touchscreens, and smart boards) to boost overall engagement in lessons. Just what is an interactive display?
Laurel School District (New Castle, PA) has the goal of “equipping students to become knowledgeable, responsible, and engaged contributors” to society, and since the early 2000s has worked to implement education technology like interactive whiteboards to meet this goal. Unfortunately, interactive whiteboards only had pockets of success and use was generally low for both teachers and students. Robert Lee, Director of Administrative Services at Laurel SD commented, “We wanted to infuse educational technology that allows our students to be active participants.”
Central Kitsap School District (Silverdale, WA) is a large district with 12 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 2 high schools, a secondary school (grades 6 – 12), and a K-12 community school serving over 11,500 students. A primary goal for Central Kitsap SD is to make sure that students have the skills needed to face challenges “in school and beyond graduation.” To do this, the district Department of Information Services and Technology (DIS) works to provide the technology needed to support, and spark, student learning in innovative ways. DIS faced the challenge of trying to extend the value of aging, wall-mounted projectors of varying ages and functionalities. They wanted a teaching and learning solution that would not only allow for more STEM integration, but essentially serve as a multi-use product to update their science learning environments.
Hickory Creek Elementary School (Warren County Schools, McMinnville, TN) has a vision of motivating their students to “strive for academic excellence” so that they are empowered to “become productive members of society.” Principal Mike Mansfield and Katrina Haley, Director of Technology at Warren County Schools, understand that this generation’s children are digital natives so to best serve their needs, as well as prepare them for the future, they look for education technology solutions that will engage both students and teachers.
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.
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.
We have exciting news! The MimioMarket App will be available on the ProColor Series 3 panels on February 19! MimioMarket gives users access to over 100 safe and tested apps for education. Our App Team checks every app submitted to the store and you can be sure apps will be free of advertisements, in-app purchases, and inappropriate content.