Beginning a new semester with new students is something that has to be approached with deliberate concern. This sophisticated inauguration process would be explicitly complicated when the teacher has to tackle new students and a new computer lab. This is exactly what happened to Vicki Braswell at Richmond Hill High School this past January. Mrs. Braswell boldly accepted the opportunity to be the first non-vocational teacher at Richmond Hill High school to conduct her class on a daily basis with the aid of a full computer lab.
By utilizing recycled teacher computers that were re-imaged and upgraded, her classroom was able to be equipped with a full set of student computers (31). These computers now put technology at the fingertips of each of her students every day, every period. The opportunities to incorporate these technological devices into her curriculum are vast. Mrs. Braswell has simple ambitions of electronic journals to more sophisticated plans such as project based learning tasks that can be accomplished with the aid of these technological tools. Innovative approaches were taken to create a technological product that would work well for the Social Studies classes that would be using the room every day. Software solutions were sought and installed on the computers that focused only in the areas that Mrs. Braswell and the RHHS Technology Specialist envisioned for the academic direction of the classes using the lab.
A couple of the basic goals of this project were to find a way to put more computers in the hands of the students who need them and to maximize the tax dollars spent on school computer equipment before retiring them for good. This solution seemed logical and if initially successful, a promising direction to look towards for future computer rotation schedules in the school. Equipping this Social Studies Department and teacher with such a valuable resource was not accomplished nonchalantly though. Through the support and hard work of the Board of Education, the RHHS Administration, the Technology Department, Meredith Tanner, and Vicki Braswell this lab was able to be set into play this past January. The entire endeavor is an amazing working example of the product that is produced for the students when a handful of different groups work together to accomplish a unified goal.
- by Levi Sybert
RHHS Technology Specialist