The first institution to be highlighted in our brand-new “eSchool of the Month” series is Spring Station Middle School (SSMS) in Tennessee’s Williamson County Schools. SSMS serves about 700 students in grades 6-8 and “seeks to be a leader in student integration of ed tech,” according to Assistant Principal Timothy Drinkwine.
Here, Drinkwine shares the school’s secrets to success. (SSMS will be featured in the May print edition of eSchool News. To nominate your own school or district for this award, go to http://www.eschoolnews.com/school-of-the-month.)
How does your school use technology to advance student learning?
Each and every classroom in the school building has a Dell teacher laptop and laptop dock, a Promethean ActivBoard, an ELMO document camera, and a Dell projector. Each grade level has Flip handheld video cameras and mobile computer labs on carts.
Teachers are able to move around the classroom with their mobile laptops, solicit student participation in manipulating the Promethean ActivBoard, display student work on the ELMO document camera, as well as scan student work and save it for later presentations by displaying it via the projector. All teachers incorporate Google Apps and Microsoft Office tools (Outlook, Excel, Word, Publisher, etc.) into their classes. All teachers have been exposed and trained to integrate Microsoft Photo Story, Prezi (a presentation editor), and online message boards to solicit student participation in the learning process.
Software programs such as Wilson Reading, Gaggle, and Study Island are used for various purposes to increase student learning and achievement. Math teachers use Interwrite tablets, teacher teams use clickers, and student-owned iPods are used in classrooms.
Every teacher has his or her own SharePoint site to communicate, post, and cite any information for students and parents.