Screen Time

Screen Time
Posted on 12/07/2018
Screen Time

Examples of a century’s worth of education technology can be found on the wall in Teresa Garcia’s fourth-grade classroom at Thomas J. Rusk Elementary School.

In front of the room hangs the latest, a large, flat panel display that, for all intents and purposes, is today’s version of the chalkboard.

And behind the flat panel is the actual chalkboard, exposed during the installation process. The screens are replacing Promethean boards and projectors that were wearing out from years of use.

The new video display looks like a sizeable TV but comes with touchscreen and interactive capabilities – imagine a really large iPad – that allow for lessons to be shown, interactions from students and teacher with a swipe of the finger and for all students to participate in review time through apps like Kahoot, that allows for the use of other devices to answer questions posted on the screen.

“It’s so easy to use,” said Lauren Schroeder, whose fourth-grade reading class is across the hall from Garcia. “The features are at your fingertips, and it makes life easier on us.”

Better yet, the students love it, both teachers said.

The flat panels are already in place at TJR and installation has started at McMichael Middle School. During the 2018-19 school year, the devices will also go in at Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary, Raguet Elementary and Mike Moses Middle School.

The flat panels represent an improvement in many ways. For one thing, even with close proximity to a window filled with bright sunlight from a late fall day, the screens display high-resolution colors with vivid contrast. There is no glare, something that caused problems with the old Promethean boards.

In June, NISD trustees unanimously approved spending $671,227 to cover the cost of purchase and installation of the flat panels to about half the campuses in the district.

“The flat panels installed in these classrooms provide a much better opportunity for complete integration with the technology and software available for use today,” said Keirsten Morris, a digital learning specialist for Nacogdoches ISD. “The more we can make use of technology comfortable for teachers, the more time we free up in the classroom for learning.”

With the flat panel, Garcia said, “There’s nothing that we can’t do and do what others are doing.” The technology – an improvement over the projectors – makes the world that much smaller, she said.

And for Garcia, who readily admits she plays “catch up” with the new technology available today, the flat panels have brought her rapidly up to speed.

“I’ve embraced it,” she proclaims. “I’ve come a million miles from where I was at.”

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