“This is what I’ve wanted in our schools for four years,” School Board member Lawrence Feldman said. “But no one had been able to do it.”
Adriana Diaz-Bergnes attended the bazaar to check out new programs for Dr. Michael Krop Senior High, where she teaches math. She said she is now able to present all her lessons on a high-tech Mimio board and save them so that her students can download them through Dropbox. Most of her students download the lessons straight to their phones, she said.
“If you’re not working with this technology, then you’re behind,” she said.
District officials agree, writing in their presentation that “classrooms without technological tools are obsolete.” They expect when the money is spent, academic classrooms will resemble Surey’s TERRA classroom. One such example coming this fall: iMath, a high-tech curriculum that will be in every middle school math class, paid for with a $32 million federal Race to the Top grant.
Surey said teaching such an interactive, tech-based class takes the right approach, which differs from the traditional lecture and textbook teaching model.
“I want to be with them. I don’t want them following me,” she said of her students. “I want to push them forward.”
To help with that, the district expects to spend to provide professional development and training for its teachers. Carvalho said the district is also taking into consideration the issue of equitable device access, considering some students don’t have devices or computers at home.
“This is about bringing everybody up to the same level playing field,” Carvalho said. “The failure to do that will not get us to the place we need to be.”