Donald McKay School, Boston, MA
Teachers find Mimio Technologies easy to implement and Use, and Highly Effective as Instructional Tools
With students so accustomed to technology outside of school, many teachers are finding it difficult to hold their attention with old-fashioned textbooks, worksheets, and non-interactive whiteboards and projectors. Recognizing the challenges of engaging today’s students in learning, Boston Public Schools’ central district office asked Jordan Weymer, the principal at Donald McKay School in East Boston, to pilot a selection of Mimio interactive technologies. The teachers found the educational technologies surprisingly easy to set up and use, and they were thrilled with the way the devices engaged and motivated their students.
Part of Boston Public Schools Network
90% of Student Population Is Hispanic
65% Are English Language Learners
88% Join the Subsidized Lunch Program
MimioClassroom Pilot Program
For the pilot program, educators at Donald McKay School were supplied with an assortment of MimioClassroom™ technologies and asked to complete a rigorous, ongoing evaluation of the usability and effectiveness of the instructional tools. Three teachers were chosen to pilot the Mimio technologies: a first-grade teacher, a fifth-grade teacher, and a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher.
Each teacher was given a Mimio projector and a MimioBoard™ 780 touch board with MimioStudio™ classroom software, which together created a comprehensive interactive whiteboard system. Teachers were also supplied with a MimioPad™ wireless pen tablet, to connect with the touch board wirelessly from anywhere in the room; a MimioView™ document camera, to capture HD pictures and video to share with the classroom; and a MimioVote™ assessment system, to collect student assessment data. The three teachers were trained on the full features and benefits of the Mimio products, and were shown ways to implement the technology in their day-to-day teaching.
A New Level of Student Engagement
The most immediate result of the use of the Mimio technologies was a substantial increase in student engagement. Because the technologies were so easy to set up and begin using, teachers were able to implement them smoothly, without interrupting students’ learning progress. The MimioClassroom hardware and software actively engaged students in class activities and brought the whole classroom to a new level of collaboration.
“The teachers all really appreciated the quick installation and ease of use of the Mimio products and their software, because it made integration more successful and allowed smooth transitions in their teaching,” said Weymer. “Almost instantly, they felt confident of their abilities with the MimioClassroom technologies and were able to use the products to their full potential.”
“Buying technology isn’t efficient unless it’s going to be useful. And the things that will make it useful are its interactivity, intuitiveness, and ease of use”
Jordan Weymer, Principal at Donald McKay School
Implementing Quickly. Integrating Efficiently.
Once the teachers were using the Mimio technologies efficiently and regularly, school administrators began hosting events for local principals who were interested in seeing the technology demonstrated. Weymer shared his advice with those who were ready to implement this or any kind of technology in their schools: “Buying technology isn’t efficient unless it’s going to be useful. And the things that will make it useful are its interactivity, intuitiveness, and ease of use. For us, Mimio technology fits all of these criteria. It was successfully implemented in our school because it runs smoothly, is free of any major operation issues, and is simple to install.”
Important Questions to Consider.
“There are many different qualities to review when choosing technologies to implement in a school,” Weymer noted, “but some are more important than others.” He lists the following as questions you need to ask when deciding on a specific technology: • How does it promote equity? • How will it engage students? • How will it empower teachers to improve class instruction? • Is there good support from the solution provider? Weymer summed it up as follows: “Overall, it’s important to consider whether a technology will help students in the classroom by developing and supporting communication skills through collaboration, as well as whether it will help students outside the classroom. Mimio offers a full-featured answer to all of these questions, and Mimio technologies are making a significant and consistent difference in how students learn at Donald McKay School.”