With 285 faculty and 4,400 students, a large school district needed to update its classroom technologies to establish equitable learning for all students. Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive display systems allowed Peters Township School District to create more collaborative learning and standardized solutions across the district.
Business Environment Challenges:
Peters Township School District in McMurray, PA was looking to improve the quality of education for the district’s 4,400 students by updating the learning technology used in classrooms throughout the district. At the time, Peters Township had a mix of white boards and projectors unevenly distributed throughout the five district schools. Adam Swinchock, Director of Educational & Informational Technology, felt that more enhanced learning could be achieved by revamping the classroom technology.
“Despite having smartboards and projectors scattered throughout the district, these technologies didn’t support collaborative learning between teachers and students, or even between students and students,” says Swinchock. “We needed a solution that would move away from passive learning and make the students more engaged. The technology was a predominant element in creating this change.”
Swinchock encouraged the school district to consider large screen technology, accompanied by improved Internet connectivity, and to standardize the solution across all classrooms. Such a configuration would offer more flexible teaching for faculty, and more interactive learning opportunities for students. The desired solution would also establish more equitable learning by providing every classroom with the same technologies and accessibility.
Business Technology Solutions
With the help of a local Sharp dealership, Peters Township decided on a solution that would include placing 70” Class (69.5” Diagonal) AQUOS BOARD interactive displays in each classroom with a variety of additional features including: high-speed wireless Internet connectivity; rear-mounted DVD players; soundboards; wireless keyboards; and wireless mouse technology. The initial installation project took place in 46 classrooms, with one screen in each classroom, for grades four, five and six.
The Sharp solution has completely changed the teaching culture in the initial 46 classrooms. Each classroom now has the same technologies and accessibility, creating an equitable learning scenario for students in those respective grade levels. In addition, the standardization has simplified faculty movement between classrooms by ensuring that all classrooms are uniformly equipped with the same technologies and tools.
Teachers can directly connect to, and control, the Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive displays via their preferred device. Students also have the potential to connect to the displays via multiple input ports for new and interactive learning opportunities.
For example, the AQUOS BOARD interactive displays are used during independent work times as a classroom hub. Up to four students can connect and work on teacher-created math activities together. It also supports the online quiz and testing options of the district’s math program, including tools and games that can be leveraged in small groups or class activities.
Mounted to rolling mobile carts, the displays can be moved throughout the classroom and between classrooms if necessary. While recently undergoing structural renovations, Peters Township found they could easily move the display screens into temporary classrooms without compromising the available teaching tools.
Further, the students benefit from more creative and real-world learning applications. Rather than simply looking at textbooks and whiteboards, the students now have endless possibilities through the screens and Internet connectivity, such as viewing a live space shuttle launch or interacting with field experts via video conferencing.
“Not only was the initial installation fast and easy, the reception from teachers was very positive,” continues Swinchock. “Combined with the high-speed wireless connectivity, the AQUOS BOARD interactive displays have allowed for much greater use of Internet resources and tools in the classroom. And, the ability to connect multiple devices at once has created a universally collaborative learning environment that we are very happy with.”