Written by Mark Jaeger
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 18:46
Northern Ozaukee taps outside sources for classroom enhancements
The Northern Ozaukee School District has received a $40,000 grant from the Wisconsin Technology Initiative for upgrades to its schools.
The grant application was prepared by Lori Marini, the district’s technology coordinator.
The money will be used for 10 replacement SMART boards, computer-assisted panels that have essentially replaced blackboards in most classrooms.
In addition, eight document cameras that feed into the display boards will also be purchased.
The grant application made a compelling argument for the technology purchases.
“NOSD seeks to increase the use of interactive classroom technologies, available to students and staff … by incorporating SMART flat panels in classrooms,” the application explained.
The district has fully embraced the SMART board technology, with 21 boards available in the elementary school, 15 in the middle school and 16 at the high school. The district also has 36 older document cameras for those boards.
The district received three previous WTI grants used to make initial SMART board purchases.
In addition to providing entire classrooms with online access to web-based materials, the boards are also used for such things as virtual field trips and distance meetings.
Testimonials by several staff members were used to demonstrate the value of the SMART technology.
“I noticed an immediate shift in the attitude and interest of my students to that of fascination with the new technology and its capabilities,” science teacher Alyssa Blum said.
First-grade teacher Anna Freier said the cameras allow her to make reading much easier.
“I love having the camera to help enlarge books I read, for explaining directions and displaying student work,” Freier said.
“I cannot imagine going without it now.”
The school district got even more good news on the technology front with word that it would be receiving $38,000 in Common School Funds from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.
The district qualified for the money by using the program to cover the cost of its unfunded retirement liability loan.
The money will be used to purchase 10 14-inch Chromebooks, 50 11-inch Chromebooks and 60 Google Chrome licenses.
The $15,370 purchase will be made from Heartland Business Systems in Little Chute.
The remaining money will be used for library materials at the district’s three schools.