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Smart Classrooms | News

Texas District Ramps Up Classroom Tech

One Texas school district is drastically expanding its use of interactive whiteboards and document cameras in its classroom.

Lubbock Independent School District will install about 1,300 Smart Boards and 1,000 Smart Document Cameras, created by Smart Technologies. The installation is expected to be complete in March. The purchase will be paid through a bond approved in 2010, of which $28 million was earmarked for education technology.

Specifically, the district will purchase Smart Board 680i interactive whiteboard systems, which use the Smart UF75 projector, for use in every classroom. In addition, each classroom in which core subjects are taught will have a Smart Document Camera 330. The district will also use 75 Smart Height-Adjustable Wall Mounts in pre-kindergarten classrooms so students of all sizes will be able to easily view presentations.

According to administrators, the district selected the 680i system because it's easy to use and because it generates a less significant shadow from the UF75 projector. In addition, the Smart Document Camera 330 was selected because it works together with Smart Notebook software and its interactive whiteboard.

The district began using interactive whiteboards in 2004, and it is considering signing on with Smart Response interactive response systems some time in the future.

"Smart products are working so well that technology solutions are becoming part of the culture in our classrooms," said Bill Landis, district director of technology support. "The products are so easy to use that the technology becomes almost invisible, supporting the instruction so that it becomes more effective."

Lubbock Independent School District, which has 35 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, four high schools, one special purpose school, and three alternative school campuses, has enrollment of about 29,000 students. The district has approximately 2,000 teachers. District facilities include a technology center to teach students about computer operations and programming.

The district has a 2011-2012 fiscal year budget of $168 million. (It recently changed the fiscal year to Sept. 1 to July 1, making it 10 months long.)

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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