Software helps Phoenix schools maximize classroom technology

In 1993, the Phoenix-based Wilson School District became one of the first districts in the country to have a 1:1 computer-to-student ratio. Since then, the inner city school district has made its mission to provide the best education for its students by integrating the latest classroom technologies.

At the very least, each classroom is equipped with computers, a SMART Board, laser printer and digital camera. The district’s old library is currently being renovated into a state-of-the-art media lab. There, students will have access to image and video editing software and will be able to produce interactive morning announcements.

Despite the impressive technological advances in student education, Wilson’s director of technology, Betty Olivier, wasn’t satisfied with the overall operation of the technology inside each classroom. At the conclusion of the 2009/2010 school year, she began searching for a way to manage all of the classroom technology while enhancing its overall performance. The ideal solution would be flexible enough to work with students from kindergarten to eighth grade. Olivier and her team selected SMART Classroom Suite 2010 interactive learning software.

“In the few months we have been using the software, SMART Classroom Suite has greatly improved the quality of life in every classroom.” said Betty. “It was the missing link between how lessons were taught with the SMART Boards and how students used their computers in regard to those lessons.”

SMART Classroom Suite combines classroom management, assessment, lesson creation and assignment management tools. Olivier noted that teachers like the ability to lock computers when they want their students’ full attention or to send a message to an individual student without singling out him or her in front of the whole class.

For many teachers within the Wilson School District, SMART Classroom Suite has not just improved classroom management, it has increased productivity. “They have noticed that because the administrative work is easier and quicker, they are able to get through much more curriculum,” Olivier stated.

“It’s changing how teachers teach and how students learn," she concluded."It’s helping us at Wilson continue to execute our mission in providing the best education for our students through technology.”