Thursday, August 26, 2010

Technology Integration

This week we took several Sioux Trail classrooms to the next level of instructional technology. District maintenance staff finished installing six interactive white boards in our classrooms. The interactive white board (SMART is the brand name) allows users to interact with the display on the screen. We used building budget funds to purchase four boards, the PTO purchased one with proceeds from one of our book fairs and the sixth SMART board was acquired through a grant. In order to have a SMART board installed in their classroom, teachers had to apply and specify how using an interactive white board would impact teaching and learning in their classrooms. Teachers also had to specify how they would obtain professional development so they would know how to use the SMART Board in the most effective manner. Each SMART board is approximately $1200 and requires an LCD projector to work. Through a combination of building and PTO resources,as well as several generous financial donations, we finished purchasing and installing LCD projectors this summer. Unlike the two elementary magnet schools, which had access to special budgets and were able to purchase this type of technology all at once, we have been making wise use of building resources, teaming with our PTO and gradually adding technology tools to classrooms. I doubt the process of increasing access to technological tools will stop anytime soon as there are always additional tech tools that we want students and teachers to have access to. We are also adding document cameras (watch for a future post on these), sound field technology and student response systems to teaching spaces.

For the 2010-11 school year there are SMART boards in rooms 110, 118 (Science), 203, 204, 205, 206, 208 and several Special Education classrooms. If you think this type of technology is important in the work that we do please let your child's teacher know that!

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