Sarasota County Schools decided it was time to search for a replacement for its aging projectors and interactive whiteboards. With the advancement of touch technology on the horizon in education, the IT team began looking at new education technology tools, specifically interactive displays to roll out district-wide.
“Before we consider integrating new technology into the classroom, we always ask ourselves ‘How is this enhancing or supporting the teaching and learning to happen in the classroom?’ “, said Joe Binswanger, Director of Information. Binswanger and his team at Sarasota knew exactly where to start. The first step was to create an evaluation committee made up of teachers, administrators, and support staff to uncover how each product enhanced and complemented teachers’ and students’ daily activities.
Next, they created a checklist of everything that they wanted the new interactive display to accomplish. “We had a set of tasks that we assigned to different members of the evaluation committee,” explained Todd Alexander, Manager of School Support Services for Sarasota County Schools. “We made sure to include simple tasks, such as turning on and off the display. While that may not seem like a significant task for someone to complete, it makes a huge difference when you’re integrating new technology with teachers that vary in expertise.”
After they identified their committee and list of needs, they started the testing phase. They brought in different vendors and types of technology to ensure they selected the right technology and partnership for their district. After testing a variety of interactive displays from different education technology companies, the votes were unanimous.