Alabama District Makes Most of Technology Grant

Administrators and teachers at Coosa County School District in rural Alabama were fortunate to receive a technology grant for their middle school campus, but they soon faced a common problem: how to manage the new technology and incorporate it into the classroom.

“Our new technology grant allowed our middle school to become a 1 to 1 campus," said Kevin Thompson, District Technology Director of Coosa County. "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. Thompson was searching for a classroom collaboration solution that could be used with the new technology to create an online learning environment—while still keeping the network and students safe. “I had heard recently about a tool offered by Lightspeed Systems, our content filtering provider," said Thompson. "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."

Teachers at Coosa County we were initially drawn to My Big Campus because of the Educational Resource Library, which offers hundreds of safe educational videos, including those shared by other teachers. Educators also appreciated other features such as resources, games, videos, and activities tied to State Standards. They created class pages and posted assignments and discussion questions, encouraging students to collaborate and share ideas.

Educators also noticed an increase in student achievement as a result of implementing My Big Campus, with the students responding well to the online assessment feature. Parents benefited from being able to see first-hand their child’s work and became more involved in their children's learning experience. And teachers were pleased to know that the builtin safety features of My Big Campus meant they didn't have to worry about inappropriate content, videos, or language being used on the site.