WHEN MOON AREA HIGH SCHOOL IN Moon Township, Penn., was selected as a Pennsylvania “Classrooms for the Future” school last year, administrators knew they were faced with both opportunity and challenge.
Opportunity would come from a dramatic influx of technology that promised to transform classrooms into centers of modern learning with laptops, projectors, interactive white boards and more. But the challenge would come from managing the installation of over $400,000 worth of hardware over the course of a few short weeks.
Fortunately, early concerns about implementation difficulties were quickly put to rest thanks to the relationship between the school and the technology vendor, CDW-G, of Vernon Hills, Ill., according to Kim Prevost, Moon Area School District’s instructional technology specialist.
“The equipment arrived just before spring break last year,” Prevost said. “There were several truckloads of it. We had seven to 10 technicians from CDW-G on site, working with us straight through the school vacation, to get everything set up.”
Pennsylvania’s “Classrooms for the Future” project is a $200 million, three-year initiative designed to improve teaching and learning in the state’s high schools by creating technology-enriched instructional settings in English, math, science, and social studies classes. Moon Area High School was one of 92 high schools to win a grant in the program’s first year.
The grant enabled the school to outfit 16 classrooms with a full set of instructional technology. Each classroom set included up to 27 Lenovo student laptop computers, another laptop for the teacher, a laptop charging/storage cart, a Promethean interactive whiteboard, an Epson projector, an HP printer and Logitech speakers.
This year, Moon Area High School will similarly outfit another 10 classrooms, and 21 additional classrooms will get teacher presentation stations consisting of a laptop computer, a projector, an interactive whiteboard and an HP printer/scanner/copier.
CDW-G is an official supplier for the “Classrooms for the Future” program, and Moon Area High School worked closely with the company’s representatives to plan the delivery and installation of the equipment so that there would be minimal disruption to classes, Prevost said.
“It’s been a very good experience,” she commented. “We worked pretty much straight through the spring break. We had a very efficient assembly line set up. The CDW-G technicians were working by our side the entire time.”
Teachers in the 1,200-student high school were released for a series of half-day training sessions so they could learn how to use the equipment. Some of the sessions were conducted on-site and others were conducted online, Prevost said.
Now, with the program in its first full year, teachers and students at Moon Area High School are actively using the new classroom technology in English, social studies, science and math classes.
“The laptops are being used in innovative ways by our teachers and students. Students are researching curricular content, learning with interactive web sites and streaming video, collaborating with peers on class projects, and demonstrating problem solving techniques with the interactive whiteboard.”
As the school’s faculty awaits the second, and final, stage of implementation, which will bring technology set-ups later this year to science and social studies classrooms, Prevost said it is easy to envision the benefi ts that will come from the project.
“It will allow our students to take a more active role in their learning,” she said. “It adds a whole new level of engagement, a whole new level of meaning. They’ll be able to learn in ways that are conducive to the needs of our digitally native students, providing them with twenty-first century skills to succeed in a global economy.”
For more information please visit www.cdwg.com or call 1-800-767-4239.