21st Century Classroom Initiative
The district recognized the need for more student interaction to ensure their active participation in learning. As a result, Instructional Technology designed, adopted, and implemented a 21st-Century Classroom model. A 21st Century Classroom consists of the latest technology tools that enable teachers to create interactive learning environments that excite, engage and challenge students. The classroom contains an interactive white board, student response system, a document camera, computer, printer, phone, and age/grade appropriate software and resources.
The cornerstone of the classroom is the unified SmartBoard, an interactive whiteboard that allows direct student participation in a lesson. The SMART Board works by a touch-sensitive surface that connects to a computer and digital projector to show the computer image. Students can then control computer applications directly from the display, write notes in digital ink and save and share their work. SmartBoard software allows teachers to create highly-engaging, interactive lessons on any level from Pre-K through 12th grade.
Another tool that facilitates student participation in the learning process is the E-instruction Classroom Performance System (CPS), a student response system that allows teachers to evaluate classroom attendance, activity, and grading and provides student study guides. It consists of a radio frequency receiver, response pads, and a versatile software package that allows quizzing, polling, and more. CPS allows/mandates all students to answer class questions, and not just the few who raise their hands. Because students are assigned a number and names are not used, teachers can also see which students are struggling and provide assistance and feedback without singling the student out. Immediate feedback means better results.
The district has also adopted the Elmo document camera. It provides an extra dimension to classroom presentations. Teachers and students can share notes and written materials as well as three-dimensional objects. The old days of having students gather around something on the teacher's desk/table for viewing are gone. With an Elmo, the teacher can show an object to the whole class at once magnified many times its original size. The teacher can also take digital photographs of the items and edit them later on the computer.
As the district strives to stay on the cutting edge of educational technology, Monroe City Schools is constantly exploring new ways to engage and excite teachers and students about learning.