FCS rolls out potential new technology at leadership conference – Forsyth County News Online


In
an effort to keep up with the technology industry’s increasing growth, Forsyth
County Schools may soon acquire augmented reality and multi-platform items to
roll out in classrooms and schools throughout the county.

At
FCS’s annual Leadership Retreat, which was held Monday and Tuesday at the
Forsyth Conference Center at Lanier Technical College, Chief Technology and
Information Officer for FCS Mike Evans, presented a number of new technologies
the schools have either already purchased or are thinking about purchasing.

“We want to make sure we’re back out in front,” he said.
“Fourteen, 15 years ago, we had Promethean; that was huge across the nation and
in our implementation. Eight or so years ago, we started the BYOT initiative
and we had tours, we had people coming to visit our classrooms to [learn] about
that.

“We want to make sure we’re put back on the front – not only
from a technology standpoint, but we want to be there for the instructional
ways we’re using technology.”

Some of the items demonstrated at Tuesday’s session included
additional 3D printers – Jennifer Caracciolo, a spokeswoman for FCS, said only
CTAE career pathways currently have the printers – as well as other items, such
as Sprout Pro, an interactive touch map and monitor that includes 2D and 3D
scanners, and Alive Studios, an augmented reality reading and math technology
for preschool through third graders.

Lock box
– photo by Isabel Hughes

The
initiative involves the purchase of about 26,000 Chromebooks to ensure every
classroom has a minimum of 10 devices, according to Superintendent Jeff
Bearden.

“It
will be a game-changer for our teachers,” he said previously. “Testing is part
of it, but as I visit schools, the No. 1 issue when I talk to teachers is
there’s such a need for Chromebooks. In some schools, you have PTOs and stuff
that can purchase additional [devices], but teachers desperately need seven,
eight, 10 in each classroom.

“The
vendor is going to make sure they’re pretty much ready to go once they’re
delivered — our staff isn’t going to have to do anything.”

At
Tuesday’s technology session, he said the new items are an attempt to keep
students and teachers up-to-date in all areas of education.

“One of
our No. 1 responsibilities is to make sure when our kids graduate, they’re
really prepared for the world we live in,” he said. “It may be post-secondary
or it may be in work as well, but if we’re using antiquated, outdated
technology, we’re not preparing them and so we have to keep current.

“Our
board has made the commitment and investment to keep current on all the latest
technology so it fits with our program.”



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