Demo classrooms lets students, staff test new technology

Friday, May 19, 2017 - 4:15pm
Whiteboard Classroom

Technology helps schools make decisions on instructional upgrade purchases

Prior to the end of the school year, students and staff at a small group of elementary schools got the opportunity to test brand new classroom technology that could become commonplace in their schools.

The 2016 Bond Program includes a designated amount of instructional upgrade money for each school to prioritize based on their unique school needs. Prior to the passage of the bond, building principals engaged their school communities (parents, students and staff) on how the money could best be spent.

The feedback overwhelmingly favored schools wanting to add new technology including items such as Google Chromebooks™, Chromecarts, classroom projectors, projectable surfaces and audio systems.

The technology demand created a positive challenge for Five Star Schools of how to get the latest technology in the hands of staff and students to test and provide feedback.

In order to time potential additional installation work with general bond work, the instructional upgrade timeline was prioritized for the schools scheduled to receive general bond improvements first. All schools are scheduled to go through the instructional upgrade selection process within the next year.

To gather feedback, Five Star Schools IT equipped classrooms at each of the first six elementary schools making decisions on instructional upgrade purchases (Mountain View, North Mor, North Star, Stukey, Westview and Woodglen) with all or some of the following technology tools:

  • 102-inch steel panel markable projection surface
  • Ultra Short throw wall-mounted projector
  • Wireless document camera
  • TopCat classroom audio system with teacher microphone
  • Roku streaming media player
  • Catchbox interactive throwable microphone

Existing space inside the Educational Support Center was also utilized to create demonstration labs for principals and teachers to tour. The spaces feature much of the same technology installed in the model classrooms.

These spaces will continue to be a resource for other schools as they begin the instructional upgrade process. Students and staff from the first six schools could begin to see some of the benefits of the new technology when they return for the 2017-18 school year.