ERIC Number: EJ842175
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
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T.H.E. Journal, v36 n3 p16-17 Mar 2009
Who would deny the sweet irony of a 70-year-old man stepping into his very own classroom of the future? James Richmond certainly would, if it would mean fast-forwarding the premiere of the digital, domed theater his district has in the works, which has been pushed back to 2013 due to funding snags. Richmond, the superintendent of Charles County Public Schools (Maryland), describes a 180-seat, Imax-style structure with interactive seats, surround sound, laser projection, and virtual-reality effects that will transform math and science teaching by immersing students in the cosmos. Richmond's dedication to technology-infused learning has helped turn Charles County into the district he set out to build. In 2006, it became the first district of such considerable size--27,000 students--to go completely wireless. Meetings between Richmond and his school principals are conducted paperlessly. A data warehouse, built in-house with direction from IBM personnel, now empowers teachers with what they need to make data-driven decisions. Every teacher in the county has an IP telephone in the classroom. Technology tools abound--projectors, laptops, interactive whiteboards, video streaming--bolstering and enlivening teaching and learning. Essential instructional materials--textbooks, lesson plans, and assessments--in core subjects like algebra, government, history, and English are being put online with buy-in from teachers, who are paid in the summer to push the process along. But lest educators fear being minimized by so much gadgetry, Richmond believes that new technology does not shrink the role of a good teacher but enlarges it. He recalls what a futurist from HP told a group of his principals and teachers during a visit to Charles County years ago: If you're replaced by technology, you probably should be.
Descriptors: Teacher Effectiveness, Theaters, Technology Integration, Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Decision Making, Data, Telecommunications, Superintendents, High School Students, Secondary School Teachers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland