How to build an immersive learning environment

students working on laptop in classroom

Published: August 3rd, 2020

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District is large and continues to grow by nearly 1,000 students each year, creating continuous pressure to provide all students with equally impactful educational experiences. The district administration and teachers realized they lacked a collaborative technology infrastructure that engaged students in their learning environments.

We weren’t where we needed to be to prepare students for today’s higher education and workforce. – Becky Cook, Director of Technology

To realize this immersive learning environment, they needed the necessary funding to take on a project of this size. Thankfully, their community also saw the importance of modernizing technology in their schools and in 2014 voted overwhelmingly in favor of a $1.2 billion bond to help update the district’s classrooms. Once funding was secured, they needed to answer the biggest question: Which technology could create the most impact on preparing students and improving student outcomes?

Starting with a four-week evaluation, a committee of teachers, curriculum staff, and technical staff conducted an extensive hands-on review with each interactive flat panel and corresponding software. The opportunity allowed committee members to review the different classroom technologies in the context of their subject areas and needs. After diligent research, the committee landed on the Promethean interactive displays.

Lessons learned:

  • Not all classroom technologies are created equal. It was extremely important to the district that their new infrastructure allows for simultaneous use from several students at a time. Both at the panel and on the cloud-based software, the real-time collaboration aspect has been huge for their classrooms and opened a whole new range of possibilities for teachers.
  • Professional development is paramount. Integrating a brand-new system is a huge undertaking at a minimum. Their team is proudly made up of educators from all walks of life, which is an amazing thing but also provides the challenge of figuring out a way to get everyone up to speed. From demonstration to continued rollout district-wide, looking for a provider that has expertise in leading professional development demonstrations and workshops is something that is highly recommended to any interested district.

In the end, Cypress Fairbanks ISD has successfully enhanced student engagement in the classroom by implementing ActivPanel interactive displays and ClassFlow software solutions.

“Our students love being able to go up and touch the board and are excited that more than one student can interact with the board simultaneously,” said Cook. “Overall, students have embraced the new technology, and the interactive panel and software combination has had a clear, positive impact on teaching and learning. Our team sees the huge strides we are making in the district by using an immersive, 21st-century learning environment that will prepare students for their next steps in their lives.”

Read the full customer story here.