Reviewer: Luke Wittum, director of technology, Elisabeth Ann Johnson High School, Mt. Morris (Michigan) Consolidated Schools (690 students) Products we use: PGD-150 3D glasses, PJD6531w 3D-ready DLP projectors; Cyber-Anatomy 3D software; Designmate videos Goals: "3D has a lot of potential for engaging students in learning. We particularly thought it would be great for our visual learners," says Wittum. Response: "We did a 3D demo for our principals, and they loved it, so we now have a 3D pilot in our high school science classes. Teachers are getting enthusiastic about using 3D in their classrooms and in their lessons, especially for the realistic simulations." Learning Curve: "The projectors and glasses were quite straightforward. Windows 7 detected the right refresh rate, but in XP it had to be manually set," he says. How We Use it: "We hope to motivate our high school science students using 3D technologies. In this enhanced learning environment, even students with learning and attention challenges fully absorb the material. Wearing the glasses, students can be seen reaching out into the air to actively participate with 3D objects and challenges." The school made AYP last year with test score gains in all subjects. What's Ahead: "We will evaluate our 3D pilot classroom and assess student learning. If it is successful, we'll move on from there, and offer it to other classrooms," says Wittum.
"No Off-Task Behavior"
Reviewers: Kerry Coursey, principal, and Ron Phillips (top left), teacher, Coastal Middle School, Savannah (Georgia), (32,634 students); Paul Romero (bottom left), CIO, Rio Rancho (New Mexico) Public Schools (16,000 students) Products We Use: Interactive Mobi, ExamView, CPS Pulse student response systems, Interwrite interactive whiteboards Goals: "We looked at Mobi to allow students to work in groups or alone on an assignment while the teacher monitors the process," says Coursey. "We also needed the CPS Pulse student response system for student feedback." Response: "When multiple Mobis are used, there is no off-task behavior, and next-day recall of content is higher than with traditional instruction. Teachers who have been trained found the Mobi and its software easy to learn," says Phillips. Learning Curve: "Multiple units were used for professional learning as a tool. We also did training geared to specific classroom uses," says Romero. How We Use It: For Coursey and Phillips, "The Mobis have increased student on-task behavior and teachers are developing lessons that incorporate the technology. Lessons can be uploaded-even the presenter's voice being saved along with the presentation."
Using the "Funboard"
Reviewers: Dr. Margaret Johnson, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, and Deb Balayti, coordinator of teaching and learning technologies, Palos (Illinois) Community Consolidated School District 118 (1,876 students) Products We Use: SMART Boards, SMART Slates, SMART Response systems Goals: "Palos 118 made a commitment to create digital-age schools. We installed a SMART Board in all of the classrooms," says Johnson. Response: "Students called it the funboard, because of spelling and games. Parents like that the tools are in the classrooms," says Balayti. Learning Curve: "Teachers commit to three days of hands-on summer training in order to have a smart Board installed in their classroom. This training includes the response system and wireless slates," says Balayti. How We Use It: "Classroom websites and learning sites are being accessed frequently and teachers are employing the response clickers to instantly see which students need additional support and to focus student attention and increase engagement in class discussions," says Balayti. What's Ahead: "We plan to purchase additional response systems and slates, as well as a smart Table in each of our K-5 buildings," says Johnson.
"3D Frog Dissections"
Reviewer: Lauren Sanders,...