Opelika City Schools Integrate Interactive Panels in the Classroom

It’s back to school for many East Alabama families and a lot of students in the Opelika school district are starting the new school year with some new technology in the classroom.

“I was looking for something that would pull teachers away from being the center of the stage up there and something the kids can actually use. Prior to having these panels we had the promethean boards, which was very much teacher-centered and we are trying to move everything student-centered,” said Stacy Royster, District Technology Coordinator for Opelika City Schools.

Clear Touch Interactive Panels installed for high-schoolers and in kindergarten through third grade classrooms.

“That board has 10 points a touch and we can put 10 students up there at one time, all doing something different. If we want to do one lesson with 123s or ABCs in a kindergarten class, we can do that depending on what the group needs,“ said Royster.

Jeter Primary School kindergarten classes have used the boards since the start of school this year.

“Normally they’d have to use a desktop computer or maybe a little tablet, but now they can do it through the whole lesson. It’s not them just doing it in the center, they can see me doing it and they are able to come up and model what I show them, “ said Ecameron Dowdell, Jeter Primary Kindergarten Teacher.

Ms. Dowdell said she can already see the difference in the way her students are absorbing information.

“A lot of children, they may have technology at home, so they can do what they do on tablets at home and also here in the classroom and play those games and learn from those,” said Dowdell.

Since many kids arrive to class tech-savvy, the boards tap into that, and offer more flexibility for teachers.

“Everything in education these days is about differentiation and personalization for the student. You might have 25 little bodies in your classroom and everyone in there learns different. This technology lets the teachers step away and let kids go up there and interact with it. Everything in their day-to-day life is interaction,” said Royster.

4th and 5th grade classrooms will get the Clear Touch Interactive Panels next school year.

Each board costs about $4,000.

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