Alcoa Elementary purchases ActivTable
By Matthew Stewart | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alcoa Elementary School has taken a giant leap for its students, purchasing the “next evolution of educational technology” to better serve schoolchildren.
School officials recently purchased Promethean’s ActivTable, a 46-inch HD LCD touch-sensitive display that supports up to six students at one time, for Alcoa Elementary’s special education pre-K classroom. The unit is designed for 4- to 11-year-olds.
The ActivTable, which runs Microsoft Windows 7, is loaded with 25 core-subject activities, such as memory and language games, said Zach Harris, Promethean’s area manager. The tables weigh 100 pounds, and they’re outfitted with 250-pound Gorilla Glass.
Promethean unveiled the ActivTable at BETT (British Educational Training and Technology) earlier this year, Harris said. The annual British trade show showcases educational technology products, resources and best practices.
The company started delivering the tables in the U.S. about three weeks ago, he said. Three Tennessee school districts — Alcoa City, Monroe County and Sumner County schools — have purchased the $8,000 ActivTables.
Alcoa school officials are optimistic about the new technology’s use in their classrooms.
“We believe that ActivTable is the next evolution of educational technology, facilitating the interaction of multiple students in one curriculum-based application,” said Director of Schools Brian Bell. “We’re simply scratching the surface of its abilities right now. Its evolution will be dictated by student use, as they discover its capabilities.”
The ActivTable is ideal for today’s students, said Dr. Deborah Smith, special education supervisor. “Our students are comfortable with technology. They really understand it and even crave it.” Alcoa Elementary School has experienced success with iPads that they purchased about two years ago, she said. “Our kids are intrigued by them, so we’ve been adding a few more (iPads) each year. We’ve seen a considerable amount of success with them.”
Smith praised the work of K-2 inclusion teacher Katie Gregory, who is in her second year of teaching. “She does a phenomenal job with group work and incorporating technology. The ActivTable will help accelerate what she’s already doing with students.”
Gregory echoed Smith’s comments. “I teach a lot of students with special needs. Many of them struggle to develop social skills, and the ActivTable is a good way to incentivize those behaviors.
Every student wants to play with it. When we play with the iPads, there’s always one that everybody wants to play with at the same time. Now they’ll be able to share.”
Louisville-based company PCS sold the unit to Alcoa City Schools.