Walk into our buildings any day of the week and you will likely see students looking up information on iPads, teachers interacting with live presentations on their interactive whiteboards, students creating video projects with Flip cameras, and Prezi's or Powerpoints being used in teaching. We love our technology at Eastern and it's only getting better.
This year we have seen major changes in the classroom. Teacher machines reaching the second stage of the tech cycle are being processed into the back of classrooms, replacing older retiring machines. Meanwhile teacher workstations were upgraded to new laptops. English labs have been retired to be replaced by netbooks instead of full blown laptops (great for composition work).
Speaking of netbooks, we are now in our second year of our netbook pilot. This year we have expanded from two 5th grade classes to all 5th grade and we continue with all Algebra I classes at the high school. The 5th grade teachers have adapted their curriculum using interacitve presentations and having students turn their work in through email. The high school Algebra classes actually do more than word processing on their computers. The class participates in Moodle, taking online tests and resources provided by their outstanding teacher, Mrs. Walls.
Other grade levels at the elementary maintain iPad carts for use in their respective grades while English and speciael education classes at the high school also have access to iPad carts. This year we have also expanded by incorporating 30 take-home iPads in our elementary Title 1 department. All elementary, special education, and English staff have iPads to help in exploration of new curriculum and planning for class. Teachers can project iPad work through their projection systems for student modeling. Small group instruciton is common and the devices work really well to obtain information and create interesting presentations.
None of this would be possible without our campus wide internet and wifi though. The completion of that project at the end of last year has allowed us to integrate ditigal devices into the classroom like never before. We have also adopted a policy on BYOD (bring your own device) which allows students to bring their own electronic devices from home for use in class when guided by teacher instruction. Again wireless services allow students to research and connect with their own devices.
Teaching staff continue with daily professional development on a variety of topics including regular technology development. You may even find that your student's class runs a facebook page that you can follow. Many staff have a web presence and allow access to homework and notes for easy download. Both buildings and the corporation office communicate via Facebook and Twitter accounts.
As you can see we have a lot to explore in our schools. The teachers and staff are all enthusiastic and use the technology they have access to to enrich the experience of students and educate in a fashion that students are used to in their daily lives. As technology changes, so do we. We truly live up to our brand "A tradition of excellence. A vision for tomorrow."