Dutchtown Middle School students have a bigger and better way to learn, thanks to a generous donation from two corporations that recently picked Ascension Parish to nationally debut their latest advancement in interactive classroom technology.
Promethean and AXI Education Solutions presented the brand-new, 102-inch Promethean ActivWall technology board with ClassFlow Connect software Nov. 17 during an eighth-grade math class at Dutchtown Middle.
Although the Lafayette Parish school system recently received similar technology at its district training center, Dutchtown Middle is the first in the country to have the Promethean ActivWall with ClassFlow Connect installed in a classroom, said Suzy Swindle, Promethean global public relations senior manager.
The corporations selected Ascension Parish for the ActivWall’s national debut because of the district’s thriving “robust technology ecosystem,” said Swindle.
“They came right off the assembly line and straight to Ascension Parish,” she said.
Three ActivWall technology boards were installed in Dutchtown Middle School classrooms and a fourth in the school’s library, said Ascension Parish schools spokeswoman Jackie Tisdell.
Four more ActivWall technology boards are set to be installed at Lake Elementary School in St. Amant over the Thanksgiving holiday and two more at the district’s technology training center, Tisdell said.
The 10 technology boards are a donation valued at $70,000, Tisdell said.
“Obviously, we were very excited,” said Dutchtown Principal Doug Walker. “Our teachers have really embraced technology.
The Promethean ActivWall technology board utilizes mobile devices already provided to students by the school system to send and share school assignments and lessons.
Although Ascension Parish students currently use older Promethean boards in the classroom, the Promethean ActivWall technology board allows multiple students to send information to the board instead of just one student at a time.
The technology board can also launch a whiteboard feature for writing and brainstorming, digitally capture and save work, browse the Internet and mirror and view content from the student’s mobile devices.
The technology, presented to eighth-graders in Glenda Mora’s math class, was met with excitement from the students.
Working in small groups to graph systems of equations, the students used a dry-erase marker to write the problem on their desks. Then, to share their work with the class, they used their tablet to snap a picture or video of the equation and send it to the ActivWall technology board.
“Yay, that was awesome!” said student Kiki Price after her group’s work appeared instantly on the ActivWall next to several other groups’ math problem.
Student Peyton Hoyle then used his finger to draw on the ActivWall as if it were a whiteboard to help explain the problem to the class.
After the lesson, student Caleb Ghere said the ActivWall helped him because he could see how other groups had come up with the answer.
And the ActivWall’s sheer size impressed him as well.
“The main thing was just how big it was,” said Ghere. “It was so clear watching everything.
Corporation executives also attended the unveiling at the school.
“These kids are digital,” said AXI Education Solutions President Dale Viola. “They grow up with high definition, they grow up with video, they grow up with media, they grow up with touching. They’re multi-tasking. This allows them to collaborate with not only each other — and they do multitask and they do hear everything — but also with the teacher to actually solve problems that are going to make them career- and college-ready, which is the whole purpose of this type of education.”