District Administration August 2016 - 57

and student devices, says Jeff Lowe, vice president of marketing at SMART. Districts want the flexibility to shift from whole class to small group to individual instruction without technology getting in the way. The software supports whole class collaboration so users can share and work on lesson content. Students can create digital content using their devices while teachers can add assessments and game-based activities. Lessons and notes written in dry-erase pen on SMART's kapp whiteboard can be digitized and shared with dozens of students on iOS or Android devices. Another vendor, Promethean, also sees the importance of software and the cloud. Cloud-based instructional platforms, digital curriculum and educational apps can link front-of-the-classroom interactive displays with students' devices, says Matt Franz, vice president of product marketing at Promethean. Hardware solutions are working with cloud platforms that allow teachers to present lessons, assess students on individual devices and tailor instruction to match each student's comprehension level, Franz says. For example, Promethean's laser curtain whiteboard technology-combined with wide-angle optics-increases touch sensitivity and provides a more natural writing experience, he says. In the past, 78-inch to 88-inch surfaces were considered standard. Today's technology makes 102-inch and 135-inch widescreen and ultra-widescreen surfaces possible in classrooms. Districts deploy new displays Fulton County Schools in Atlanta is spending $20 million on a 6,100-unit rollout of Epson's BrightLink 595Wi interactive projector. Previously, the district had a mix of interactive whiteboards, flat panels and old projectors. But leaders replaced it all in an effort to standardize display technology, to provide interactive experiences in every classroom and to centralize technical support, says Tim Dunn, Fulton's director of operational IT program management. www.DistrictAdministration.com Return on investment was not a major consideration because the goal is to enhance instruction, Dunn says. Various district departments-including academics, instructional technology and facilities-worked together to decide which interactive projectors to buy and how to manage the large rollout. In RFPs, districts should specify their requirements-such as how much they're looking to spend, what kinds of features and capabilities they need, and how a display integrates with mobile devices. Then, they should test multiple display technologies with different screensharing tools in actual classrooms before committing to a deployment. Morris School District 54 deployed SMART Technologies SB680 SMARTboards "to make lessons more engaging" by enabling students to move objects on a display board or to use a single interactive pen to display multiple colors, McGowan says. Prior to deployment, Morris schools wanted an upgrade of its whiteboards. "We needed the software to drive instruction as well," McGowan says. "So the software that was available with the board made a world of difference." One product, SMART Notebook, gives teachers the ability to interact with what's being displayed-such as by adding or removing objects or text. "When you just have a whiteboard and projector, you are just displaying content," McGowan says. "Now, you are giving full interactivity. If you see something you can manipulate it." Notebooks will enable the district to go even further with augmented reality features that will give students the ability to manipulate 3D objects. Like Fulton, the Morris district does not place importance on ROI. "What we were hoping for is things like increased student engagement and excitement about class," McGowan says, "which then helps raise student achievement." DA Bob Violino is a freelance writer based in New York. DELIVERS 3 Daily Briefings 3 Weekly Reviews Updates 3 News for CIOs 3 Web Seminars 3 Product Showcases 3 Informative White Papers 3 Education Resource Alerts 3 Current Job Postings Grant 3 Critical Funding Alerts Subscribe FOR FREE districtadministration.com/subscribe August 2016 57 http://www.districtadministration.com/subscribe http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration August 2016

District Administration August 2016 - Cover1
District Administration August 2016 - Cover2
District Administration August 2016 - 1
District Administration August 2016 - 2
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