With more technology than ever at their disposal, many schools are taking classroom computing to the next level. The Houston Chronicle said one plucky young principal came into Woodcreek Middle School dedicated to integrating technology into the classroom. Thyrun Hurst, principal at the school, said he knew he had a unique opportunity to improve the quality of education through technology. We think he’s a great role model for administrators who are looking for ways to take stodgy schools into the future.
“I wanted to create a culture and an environment that feels warm and welcoming, not like an institution,” Hurst told the news source about his plan for technology improvement at the school. “The plan was to supply everything the teachers wanted. I allocated a lot of money for technology.”
In the end, the school got a bunch of new toys to play with. New iPads, multiple new computer labs, clicker tools, a laptop cart and more. He said teachers have been checking out and using the iPads in class like crazy,and with special chat rooms that allow students to have their questions answered almost instantly, they can stay more focused on the task at hand. One English teacher, Tamika Barley, told the Chronicle that students communicating more effectively through iPads has made the classroom more engaging in general.
“It’s mobile and it’s in real time. It allows the students to communicate with each other,” Bartley said. “If they have a question, they can immediately pull up the answer. They’re not deterred, and they stay more focused. It makes learning that much easier. It’s a plus for the teacher and the student.”
Edudemic.com recently posted a timeline of the evolution of classroom technology over the past 100-plus years, and it seems the last 10 years have been remarkable for the number of innovations, such as the interactive white board and the iClicker, which allows teachers to quickly poll students.
What are your experiences with classroom software and technology? Are there devices or programs you think schools are too focused on or not focused enough on? Let us know!