New technology in secondary classrooms
New technology in secondary classrooms
Posted on 05/22/2017

Puyallup School District high school students are sure to notice some new additions of technology to their classrooms, and beginning next year junior high students will see those same additions.

One of the most noticeable changes will be the addition of a 70 inch HD LCD flat screen television monitor. Previously there have been projection units in the secondary classrooms.

Randy Averill, executive director of technology operations, explained, “Yes projector images are larger, but the LCD TVs are more clearly visible.”

Six high school classrooms piloted the use of an LCD TV monitor instead of a projection unit, and the feedback from students as well as teachers was positive supporting LCD TV monitors as the best for the classroom environment.

Teachers will be able to connect wirelessly to the monitor so they can display what is on their tablet to the screen in front of the class. In real time, when a teacher writes on their tablet with a stylus, the students will see on the monitor what the teacher is writing.

Teachers will connect their new tablets through the ActionTec device that will be mounted behind the monitor.

Teachers have typically been “tethered” to the front of the room with wires and cords since the early days of classroom technology. This new wireless technology is intended to “de-tether” the teacher allowing movement about the classroom while still maintaining the ability to manage everything displayed at the front of the class.

With a 70 inch HD LCD TV monitor students will be ableJuno FrontRow Speaker to see instruction more clearly, but being able to hear the instruction also has also been a concern. Many classrooms were designed to have speakers in the ceiling so students could hear anywhere in the classroom. Since these in-house speakers have not been included in every classroom some have been provided with a Juno FrontRow amplification system.

Teachers will also be receiving pendant microphones that will connect with the sound systems so that there is more equity in sound throughout the classroom. Research has shown a sound system to be most effective for learning and reduces strain on a teacher’s voice.

In addition to the TV monitor, tablet, and voice amplifier, teachers will receive a workstation which includes a high definition document camera, a 19 inch monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse for working at their desk instead of moving about the classroom. Whether the teacher is planning curriculum or entering grades, they will have the same convenience of a computer as well as the freedom to move about the class with a tablet.

“They are able to display exactly what they want to display clearly. Students will be able to hear the teachers and videos clearly. It’s all about engaging students in an interesting manner,” Averill commented.

All of this work at the high schools has been taking place after school so as not to disrupt any instruction.

Due to whiteboards needing to be moved or removed altogether to make way for the new TV monitors many classrooms have been getting walls repaired and painted. The district’s Education Technology Department (EdTec) in partnership with facilities, has been ensuring that the classrooms are up to specifications and ready to serve. Together they are also planning the construction of new and rebuilt elementary schools.

Dave Cerio, design, drafting, and manufacturing teacher at Rogers High School, celebrated the technology upgrades saying, “As a Puyallup resident and Rogers High School graduate, I am thrilled to see that our funds are being used to improve technology within our classrooms. The technology upgrades in the classrooms are nothing short of amazing. Just today I was able to have a student present a lesson using my teaching station while I walked the room assisting students on an individual basis.”

Upgrades in technology are designed to help teachers teach more effectively, and engage students in meaningful and relevant work in the classroom.

Cerio's AutoCAD Class

Devin Konsmo
konsmdm@puyallup.k12.wa.us