“I love seeing the students work together collaboratively,” remarked Marilyn Gavitt, the Instructional Technology Coordinator for Martin County Schools in Stuart, Florida. “It’s changing the whole dynamic of the classroom—it’s getting the kids involved.” She’s talking about using technology in the classroom, and she’s not the only one noticing.
Teachers across the United States are turning to technology in increasing numbers, as school administrators are realizing its power in the classroom, particularly with student engagement. “The kids are loving it,” explains Ms. Gavitt. “Instead of reading aloud from a book while sitting at their desk, they are up at the front of the classroom, interacting with the technology and becoming the instructor in the room.”
Student collaboration and interaction with technology are becoming more essential in classrooms, especially in states where, like Florida, they have adopted the Common Core State Standards. “Our curriculum department is very busy unwrapping the Core Standards and helping the teachers comprehend them,” says Ms. Gavitt. “They have to change their way of teaching, as the standards require more critical thinking from the students.”
Technology in the classroom has made it much easier for teachers to change gears and teach for the Core Standards, especially using tools such as interactive projectors and whiteboards. “When the Epson BrightLink came out, we tested it with both the ActivInspire and Smart Notebook software,” commented Ms. Gavitt. “It was an advantage for us, because the teachers already loved the software, and the kids love the interactive functions on the BrightLink.”
Epson, Promethean and SMART Technologies are working hard to make their products work together. “I wish we could have them in every classroom, but we’re not quite there yet,” Ms. Gavitt explained. “But we’re making strides, and because our district focuses on digital learning, our early adopters are becoming facilitators for other teachers. We’re building, and we’re growing—and the kids love it.”
“I’m glad Epson interactive projectors are compatible with Promethean ActivInspire and SMART Notebook software,” Ms. Gavitt said. “It allows our teachers to truly adopt and integrate technology into the classroom, and by doing so we get our students to be creators and producers. The passive learner is gone; it’s active learning now. And you must have technology in the classroom to make that happen.”
Hear Ms. Gavitt describe her experiences with instructional technology.