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Technology Enhanced Classrooms

For the past five years, Kent County Public Schools has outfitted over 130 rooms with multiple pieces of technology.  These Technology Enhanced Classrooms or TECs, include an interactive whiteboard, classroom response system, LCD projector, and document camera. All levels (K-12) and all schools have TEC rooms.  Our current plan is to continue this program until all classroom teachers have access to this technology.

The interactive whiteboard, made by Promethean, is designed to allow teachers to use their computers to present information that students can them manipulate by coming up to the board and using a "pen".  In this way, teachers can engage students in learning in a way never before possible. Sound, color, motion can all be used to deliver content to students.

When paper information or 3D objects need to be shared with the class, a document camera can be used to "project" the image onto the board.  This allows teachers to access all materials they may have used previously.  The document camera replaces the function of an overhead projector and expands it to include opaque objects like a graphing calculator.  Teachers can demonstrate concepts that were previously too small for large group instruction.

Finally, the classroom response system (CRS) is used to assess student understanding.  KCPS uses Promethean's ActivVotes and ActivExpressions.  These devices are handed out to students.  The teacher then asks a question of the class and all students can respond.  In a normal room, hand raising is a way to assess understanding.  "Who understands what I am talking about?" is a question that could be asked in a classroom.  In the traditional class, hands would be raised.  While this will provide teachers with an idea of who understands, some students will raise their hand only to fit in with their peers and may not actually understand.  The CRS allows students to anonymously respond to the question.  This should allow for a more honest assessment of understanding in the class.

Technology to do exactly what was done in the past doesn't forward instruction.  We feel that the TEC project adds abilities to the classroom that would be impossible without it.

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