Students and Staff Excited About New Technology
Over the past few months, many Duncanville ISD students and staff have expressed their excitement about the new technology being implemented in classrooms across the district. Currently, about 85% of all eligible classrooms are fully equipped with the district’s standard equipment. The remaining 15% are scheduled for installations during the 3rd implementation phase beginning in April.
Hyman Elementary staff members have reported that they have seen a major difference in how students are learning since the arrival of our district’s technology classroom ecosystem. “My students think it is the coolest thing ever!” says Hyman teacher Claudia Galvan. “It has increased engagement in my classroom as well as participation from students who were previously reluctant to share their thinking.”
The use of the Boxlight interactive projector, in combination with the Lumens Ladibug document camera, allows teachers to transform instruction in their classrooms. No longer do students desire to use simple worksheets, they now request to use the new technology instead to provide them with a hands-on experience in learning. Teachers are also being trained by campus Library Media Specialists, as well as campus-assigned Instructional Technology Coordinators on how to use Promethean’s ActivInspire
interactive software that works seamlessly with the projector. This software allows for student collaboration, active personal involvement and the use of multiple modalities. The software also includes a free membership to Promethean Planet which offers nearly 100,000 pre-made teaching lessons which can be filtered by TEK, subject area, keyword and more. Hyman teacher Kate Lagemann explains, “I love ActivInspire. I have had so much fun finding interactive lessons to do with the kids. It is so easy to pull each lesson from Promethean Planet into Activinspire and tweak and use for my TEKs and classroom needs.”
Why is It Important to Use Classroom Sound?
Audio volume is an essential element in effective, quality communication and classroom instruction, therefore it is a critical component as we are educating our students in our classroom environments. Inadvertent behaviors such as turning ones back to write on a board, reading a difficult passages or classroom distractions often have a negative impact to the quality of verbal communication. In order to ensure the quality of communication and address inadvertent negative impacts, we are in the process of implementing the use of Audio Enhancement Classroom sound system this school year. We are already seeing a positive impact; one such example comes from Ms. Lackey from Hyman Elementary: “Even though it took some getting used to, I now use my microphone daily. This helps keep my students focused and keeps me from having to raise my voice”. We also have reports from teachers that the use of the system assists them with their classroom management. Learn more on the benefits of classroom sound on Audio Benefits Montage.
Outlook Desktop Version Now Available at Home
Checking emails have never been so easy! Although the newly updated web-version of Outlook is a great a resource to use, the desktop version can now be used even when away from the DISD network! Click here for a chance to win a prize. Simply log into your computer at home or any location that can connect to Wi-Fi, launch the Outlook applications and wait 10-15 seconds for it to load. Once the load is complete, all typical email tools will now be easily accessible.
Tech Tips from the Instructional Technology
The DISD technology classroom standards initiative provides many opportunities for success for the students and staff. As technology usage increases, it is important that all users know how to utilize the equipment to its full potential. In addition to the training sessions and training materials that are offered by our district’s Instructional Technology team, help documents called IDEA Guides are also beneficial. Our newest help guide titled “Tips on Equipment” provides an assortment of the most common tips that offer users helpful time-savers related to various types of technology devices. Download, save, read and keep these tips handy!
I’ve Been Tech Trained, But Forgot How to . . . !
We have great news! Our Instructional Technology team has a large number of training resources that can help jog your memory. Here are just a few of our most common training topics. *Note: Training sessions are stored in Safari Montage. Please login to view.
Toshiba Portege Z20t
Classroom Audio System
Boxlight Interactive Projector
Lumens Ladibug Document Camera
Visit our Instructional Technology Webpage for more!
Hardin Promotes a Digital School Environment
The unique gift of empowering students is a rewarding and vital role for campus principals. As campus leaders, it is critical to ensure that students are top priority. One way that Crystal Cross, principal at Hardin Intermediate, ensures that students are first priority at her campus is by embracing technology as an integral part of teaching and learning.
During a recent data meeting, one of her teachers, Cathlyn Weir, mentioned how thrilled she was to utilize the new technology–especially ActivInspire. Ms. Weir was so excited that she invited Ms. Cross to her class to see students successfully raising everyday content to another level. Ms. Weir explains her excitement this way, “I look forward to seeing great things come from Duncanville acquiring ActivInspire… the students will learn while having FUN, which is critical to retaining the concept.” Ms. Cross’ support for her staff allows them to feel safe using sharing their teaching successes using technology.
“I attend the technology PD sessions on campus so I can learn along with the teachers. Staying informed allows for meaningful conversations with teachers and students.” Ms. Cross, who has attended almost every technology training offered on her campus, exhibits a high level of welcomed excitement when speaking with students regarding their technology use.”The students are ready to dive into more of a digital school environment, and I charge myself with continuing to learn options to support that dive”, believes Ms.Cross.
In short, Ms. Cross’ commitment to ensure that technology and teaching are being woven into meaningful and engaging lessons, allows her to ultimately contribute to writing one student success story at a time.
Technology: A Worthy Investment
As DISD technology continually strives to provide each student with the necessary skills to achieve lifelong success, we are thankful for the many groups and individuals who made the technology classroom standards implementation a reality. Focus groups and individuals comprised of staff members, students and community members all collaborated collectively on the decision to provide technology equipment to Dville campuses. This decision has proved to be beneficial and has already began enhancing classroom instruction.
All staff members can contribute to ensure that technology equipment is being cared for by all who utilize it. Listed below are some helpful guidelines.
- Take full advantage of technology equipment found in classrooms. Equipment such as the document camera, teacher microphone and laptop should be set up and ready to be operated at all times in your classroom. Start off with basic usage, if needed. After practicing and mastering the basics, then begin to add the use of more functions as you feel comfortable. Always reach out to your Library Media Specialist or Campus Instructional Coordinator if you need help.
- Lock-down secondary keyboard dock using the dock lock that you have in your possession. This will allow you to keep your cables locked in and ready to go when your turn each day.
- Store small technology items when not in use. Items such as a projector remote, audio microphone, document camera remote, interactive pen and charger cables should be placed in a cabinet or drawer each evening. (*Note: Microphones may be left out to charge overnight).
- Always enter a help desk ticket if you feel that any form of your equipment is not working. Waiting to report issues can sometimes cause more extensive damage and frustration.
- Remember to turn off equipment when not in use such as projectors and interactive pens.
- Be extra careful in order to refrain from accidentally damaging cables such as a USB or HDMI cable. Lost or damaged cables must be replaced by campuses.
No Logon Servers: Why?
Have you or your students ever attempted to use your laptops on your campus but instead encountered a message that said “No Logon Servers”? This often times can occur when staff or students shut the lid on a laptop without properly shutting down.
Here are some helpful tips:
Laptops should be shut down by selecting: START MENU>SHUT DOWN>WAIT UNTIL IT IS FULLY SHUT DOWN BEFORE CLOSING THE LID.
- PCs should be shut down by selecting: START MENU>SHUT DOWN.
- AVOID forcing the power off by pressing and holding the power button down.
What do I do if receive this message?
Enter a help desk ticket in Eduphoria or call the help desk.
Originally from the Dallas area, Manny comes to us with 11 years of experience in the Information Technology (IT) field. During 9 of these years, Manny specialized in the area Audio/Visual Technologies. After graduating from Sunset High School in Dallas Texas, Manny also attended Mountain View Community College. Not only has Manny worked diligently to strengthen his own skills as an AV technician, he has also worked to strengthen others when he previously served as an AV manager.
Manny is married to his lovely wife Ruth and has a 1 year old daughter who he adores. We are pleased to have Manny on the Idea Team!
Krystal comes to us from Chicago, Illinois where she has made Dallas her home for the past 5 years. She has been married for 13 years and has one son who attends Hyman Elementary. With over 8 years of experience in administrative education, she currently working to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education.
Welcome to Duncanville ISD Krystal!
Stephanie, from Alvarado Texas, comes to us from Cedar Hill ISD. She has over 10 years of experience in PEIMS and over 23 years of experience in education. She has been married to the love her life for the past 35 years. She has 4 sons (1 set of twins), 7 grandchildren and one grandchild on the way. She enjoys working with people and is excited to join the Dville team.
We are glad to have Stephanie aboard!
To the following DISD staff members for winning last week’s Hidden Message Challenge! Who will be next?
- Audra Sanders
- Chase Natalie
- Darrian Miller