Thursday, November 22, 2007

Getting DIGITAL!

Bloomfield Hills schools add more classroom tech

Posted on 11/19/2007 2:22:38 PM

The Bloomfield Hills schools Monday announced that its board had approved a $2.1 million technology investment plan.

By Jan. 1, all 350 district classrooms will be outfitted with interactive whiteboards, projectors, document cameras, sound amplification and playback equipment.

One powerful component is Activotes, which are wireless computer mouse-like student response devices that allow teachers to immediately adapt instruction.

High school students and faculty will begin using the new technology when they return from the December holiday break. Elementary and middle school students are already benefiting from the boards, since classrooms were similarly equipped over the summer and fall.

Bloomfield Hills Schools will be the first district in Michigan to so-outfit all classrooms K-12 with the equipment, manufactured by Promethean.

“Teachers tell us that the impact of this technology is as dramatic as the introduction of personal computers into the classroom,” said Steven Gaynor, BHS superintendent. “Students in our elementary and middle schools who are already using this technology are highly engaged mentally, physically and emotionally. Our teachers are as excited as the kids, and are buzzing about the likely boost to student learning.”

About $500,000 of interactive equipment will be installed at Andover, Lahser and Model high schools, as well as Bowers Academy, the Bowers Farm classrooms and the Johnson Nature Center. The equipment at Andover and Lahser will be portable, so that it could be moved and reinstalled in the future if the aging high school buildings are renovated.

Bloomfield Hills Schools has provided professional development to teachers to aid their understanding and use of the systems. As with traditional lesson planning, teachers develop instruction in advance to best incorporate the technology into student learning.

Cindi Hopkins, director of technology, said that the whiteboards will make common classroom items like wall maps and televisions obsolete.

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