Ord Public Schools
Ord Public Schools (Ord, NE) serve 550 students in K-12 from four different counties. Ord Elementary was selected as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School for its high standards of Academic Learning and achievement. Ord Junior-Senior High School strives to provide its students with a comprehensive and educational experience. To align its academic goals for continued student achievement and success, Ord has implemented educational technology to meet the needs of this generation of digital learners such as 1:1 Chromebooks. In 2010, Ord invested in Promethean boards, projectors, and wall mounts for each classroom. While they did serve their purpose for a decade, they became increasingly difficult to manage over time due to lamp issues, aging software, and overall lack of flexibility. District leaders found that they were spending too much money on replacements, which pushed them to search for a more modern technology solution to continue teacher and student engagement.
“The brightness is a vast improvement over our old projector setup.”
Bridget Sheets Ord ES – 1st Grade Teacher
With the help of Computer Hardware Inc., the Ord decision-making team was introduced to the award-winning ProColor interactive display by Boxlight. After learning about its state-of-the-art features, including simple set up, easeof-use, and ability to be used in multiple ways, Ord invested in 43 ProColor displays, one for each classroom and the media center. The investment included rolling carts to help maximize their use, for a total update and innovation of Ord learning environments.
What makes the ProColor a standout among educators?
The 4K ultra-high definition LCD display produces clear and vivid pictures so that activities, images, and web applications are bright and attractive.
Its 20-touch point capabilities and simultaneous Touch 360° interactivity for 10 dual-touch and gestures boosts active engagement and collaborative learning.
MimioStudio™ classroom software allows teachers to build and present unique, interactive lessons quickly and simply which helps them better meet student learning needs and styles.
Simple-to-use but with cutting-edge features so teachers of various comfort and skill levels are empowered and confident about using it.
Since the rollout of the Boxlight interactive displays, teacher use and comfort using the innovative technology is very high. “The ease-ofuse is what I love about them. If you have a phone or tablet, you have the knowledge necessary to get started,” stated Mike Bechtold, Technology Coordinator for Ord PS.
From his observations of teacher and student interactions with the ProColor displays, its ease-of-use definitely is an advantage for all. “Frankly, we love the simplicity. I wanted a device that would be simple to project from many devices. This product does that,” said Bechtold. “(Teachers) who want a simple projection device are satisfied as well as those who wish to use more advanced features such as MimioMarket.”
Bechtold also commented on the overall look and feel of the interactive displays, “The interactive displays have met all of our needs to this point. We love the brightness and clarity of the screen. We feel it is important to have a focal point in the classroom that everyone is happy with.” This is essential to help keep students focused and encourage them to be active participants in the classroom. “The students can see it and use it and connect to it,” continued Bechtold.
The decision to mount the interactive displays on carts also proved to be a wise investment choice. Said Bechtold, “We mounted the (ProColor displays) on mobile carts and found that to be a saving grace last year. COVID-19 caused us to move classrooms to atypical venues in our school to aid social distancing. We had classes on our stage, in our gym, wrestling room, etcetera. It was awesome to move a 75-inch screen easily into those areas for instruction.”
Ord teachers agree that being able to move the interactive displays to different areas has taken instruction to another level. “The biggest advantage that I have found with the Boxlight (interactive display) is that it is portable,” stated Jackson Barnes, one of the high school science teachers. “My scienceclassroom has a set layout and having a portable display really helps me manage my space and use it to the best of my ability.”
Bechtold reiterated, “I highly recommend the carts as they have enabled our teachers to alter the layouts of their rooms. At some points, it is handy to have multiple displays in one room like gaming club, for example.”
Teachers have gotten creative with how they use their ProColor interactive displays, and many utilize them daily. “I love my Boxlight (interactive display) and love all the features it offers us!” commented Heidy Moody, 2nd grade teacher. “I love using mine throughout the day to display things or use it as a whiteboard. I use the timer feature all the time and am exploring using a document camera on it as well. Our school is lucky to have them!”
The sentiment appears to be shared by Ord Public Schools teachers and staff. “We have enjoyed our interactive displays thus far. They have met or exceeded our expectations,” declared Bechtold. “If we can get the longevity from them that we anticipate, we will be Boxlight fans forever.”
“The mobility of the panels has been a major benefit for us. When we had to be creative with classrooms last year due to COVID restrictions, we were having classes in the gyms, on stages, in wrestling rooms - anywhere we could maintain distancing. These displays rolled right into the new areas, instantly creating a classroom atmosphere.”