Haysville School District, Sedgwick County, KS
MimioClassroom gives Haysville students every opportunity to excel
The Haysville School District (USD 261) is located in Sedgwick County near Wichita, KS. The district currently enrolls more than 5,000 students in six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. Approximately 56 percent of the students are eligible to receive free and reduced lunch prices.
More than 5,000 students in six elementary schools
Approximately 56% of the students are eligible to receive free and reduced lunch prices
The district draws students from a wide range of urban and rural backgrounds, creating a rich, well-blended student body. Its curriculum is designed to meet each student’s educational needs, while emphasizing core academic areas, incorporating Kansas standards for education, and reflecting national curriculum reform efforts.
Advocates for empowered teaching and learning
The Haysville district’s instructional technology director, Lisa Cundiff, has always been a proponent of using technology to enhance young people’s engagement and thereby improve learning outcomes.
“Students today live in a particularly interactive world,” says Cundiff. “They get an immediate response to what they do, whether they’re playing video games at home, using computer-aided instruction in the classroom, or texting on their cell phones after school. It’s all about immediacy and participation. So for our students, we felt it was important to use technology that plays to this mindset and enthusiasm.”
With the goal of creating a forward-looking, technology-rich educational setting, the district established a comprehensive plan to explore grouplearning tools. Cundiff and district administrators put a great deal of thought into their list of needs. They agreed that both teachers and students would want an intuitive solution, and that the solution they chose would have to improve instruction, learning, and achievement, as well as deliver a substantial return on the district’s investment.
"Since we began using the MimioClassroom products … teaching is more effective, learning is enhanced, scores are increasing, and excellence is being achieved.”
Lisa Cundiff, Instructional Technology Director
In 2005, the district’s school board agreed to support a plan to implement Mimio interactive teaching technologies district-wide. For Cundiff, that choice came down to four reasons – all tied to empowered teaching and learning: the MimioTeach™ interactive whiteboard’s simple installation, the pre-packed MimioStudio™ classroom software, the dependability of the MimioTeach tool, and the ongoing customer support from Mimio.
Since the MimioTeach bar has the unique ability to turn any dry erase board into an interactive whiteboard in just seconds, each teacher could simply place the small magnetic bar on their existing whiteboards, connect the USB wireless hub to their computer, push two buttons, and begin teaching with a complete interactive whiteboard system. The MimioStudio software was installed for use on computers district-wide.
“I found the software to be second to none,” says Cundiff. “It’s powerful, without being complicated. And when they upgrade it, there is no learning curve – just more great features. At the end of the day, we all know that teachers need to teach, and that they have a limited amount of time to get up to speed while still creating and delivering engaging daily lessons. This software allows our teachers to easily generate activities in their choice of subject for a specific grade or age level, and automatically populate them with the appropriate text and images. It really does make interactive learning and teaching easier.”
Cundiff adds that the dependability factor of the Mimio tools has been phenomenal. “They just don’t break, which is great, because we need to keep the learning on pace. And if our technology isn’t working, our best teaching and learning aren’t taking place, either.” The reliability of the Mimio tools was matched only by the customer support. “You can tell that Mimio is committed to customer support,” Cundiff says, “from the technical issues to the peer-to-peer guidance we get through the onsite training and/or online support. I no longer feel like I’m a staff of one. We are all part of the Mimio team.”
Interactivity is working district-wide
Today, nearly every classroom in the district includes some or all of the proven MimioClassroom™ interactive teaching technologies, which include the MimioTeach interactive whiteboard, the MimioVote™ assessment, the MimioView™ document camera, the MimioPad™ wireless pen tablet, and the MimioCapture™ ink recorder. “In learning to make the best of any new technology, there is no substitute for actually using it or learning from other people’s experiences,” notes Cundiff. “With Mimio products in our classrooms, I never have had to worry that it wasn’t going to be used, wasn’t going to make a huge impact on teaching and learning, or that we wouldn’t realize a substantial return on our investment. If we had stayed with the other interactive whiteboard solution, I couldn’t sit here and say that.”
“With the MimioTeach, the teachers are more creative and our students are more engaged"
Lessons learned and shared
The initiative to standardize the interactive teaching technologies across the district came with several important lessons for Cundiff and others in the district.
Cundiff explains, “Goggle knows this and so does Facebook: the experience has to be centered on the end-user. In this case, Mimio has developed a solution that works for our school board and their budgetary concerns. It also works for our administrators, because teachers are collaborating and are more effective at developing lesson plans designed to narrow achievement gaps. And it works for our students, because it motivates, engages, and instills a sense of discovery and inquiry-based learning.”