My Big Campus is helping change the classroom culture at Coosa County.
Bakersfield, CA (PRWEB) August 23, 2012
Administrators and teachers at Coosa County School District in rural Alabama were fortunate to receive a technology grant for their middle school campus. However they soon faced a common problem: how to efficiently and effectively manage the new technology and incorporate it into the classroom. Not to mention, this needed to be accomplished with a small staff and a shrinking budget. Enter a forward-thinking District Technology Director, a few tech-savvy teachers, a new technology plan, and the tool to bring it all together—My Big Campus.
Kevin Thompson, District Technology Director of Coosa County, shares their challenge, “Our new technology grant allowed our middle school to become a 1 to 1 campus. We received laptops, Smartboards, document cameras, and more—and were suddenly faced with the overwhelming task of managing the new technology and actually utilizing these tools in the classroom.” One of Thompson’s main concerns was the quality and safety of the network. “I wanted these tools to be used in productive ways, but I did not want to compromise network performance or make managing these devices an overwhelming task.” Thompson was searching for a classroom collaboration solution that could be used with the new technology to create an engaging online learning environment—while still keeping the network and students safe. Thompson shares, “I had heard recently about a tool offered by Lightspeed Systems, our content filtering provider. My Big Campus was included with our filter and it offered the collaboration tools and safe, sharable content our teachers were looking for, while still being easy to manage. This seemed like the perfect solution.” Centralized management, a feature of My Big Campus, was the initial draw for Thompson and Coosa County SD. However, news spread quickly and once My Big Campus was in the hands of a few teachers, it really took off.
It is not hard to see why My Big Campus was so well received at Coosa County. It is a classroom solution designed specifically for K12 schools. My Big Campus creates a collaborative and engaging learning environment for educators and students—all while being simple to manage and safe to incorporate into the classroom.
Teachers at Coosa County we were initially drawn to My Big Campus because of the Educational Resource Library. They were tired of finding great educational videos online, yet not having access to them at school and not having a place to store and organize the content to share with other teachers. The library in My Big Campus allows teachers to not only have access to the videos they find, but also includes hundreds of other videos shared by other teachers across the country. Suddenly, teachers could utilize the safe, educational videos and incorporate them into the curriculum. Soon, educators at Coosa County discovered many of the other great features of My Big Campus. They began to collect resources, games, videos, and activities tied to State Standards in the Bundles feature and share them with one another, furthering the project-based learning model the school was trying to adopt. Classrooms began to go paperless and were able to fully utilize all the new technology they had received. The teachers created class pages and posted assignments and discussion questions—encouraging students to collaborate and share ideas. They also noticed an increase in student achievement as a direct result of implementing My Big Campus. Students at Coosa County responded well to the online assessment feature. The immediate feedback they received on quizzes motivated them to have higher scores. The students quickly became excited about My Big Campus and helped train other teachers. Soon, the affects of My Big Campus reached the homes of the students of Coosa County. Parents were able to see first-hand their child’s work and became more involved in their children's learning experience. On top of everything, teachers were pleased to know they never had to worry about inappropriate content, videos, or language being used on My Big Campus. The key built-in safety features and Bob Campus, the site mentor and helper, provided the reassurance teachers and IT staff were looking for.
Summer is at a close and the empty classrooms in Coosa County School District will soon be full. Instead of being welcomed with stagnant lessons and underutilized technology, students will come back to classrooms with collaborative, standards-based curriculum and passionate teachers armed with a safe learning tool made specifically for schools. My Big Campus is helping change the classroom culture at Coosa County. Student achievement is up and parent involvement has never been higher. What started as a quest to help integrate new technology has reached the larger goal: school-wide dynamic and engaged learning.
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