Monday, March 16, 2009

Lynbrook Public Schools Use Just In Time Training Method with Hitachi StarBoards At All Educational Levels

-- Long Island School District Purchases Over 100 Hitachi StarBoards In An Effort To Give Every Student A 21st Century Classroom Experience--

CHULA VISTA, Calif., March 16, 2009 – In a move that immediately positions the east coast district as a leader in educational technology, Lynbrook Public Schools in Lynbrook, New York, has upgraded classroom technology with over 100 Hitachi Software StarBoards.,The school utilizes Hitachi StarBoard FXDUO interactive whiteboards, purchased through

Matthew Nelson, director of technology for Lynbrook Schools, noted that the decision to purchase the interactive whiteboards was an easy one. “We no longer question if we will purchase this type of technology. The only question is which brand of interactive whiteboards we should purchase to best suit our needs,” he stated. “We did a tremendous amount of research and spoke with many other districts on Long Island to find out what type of interactive whiteboards they had purchased. We recognized this was a major decision and represented a significant a long term investment. Ultimately, it became clear that Hitachi offered us the best solution at the most competitive price.”

For Lynbrook, the investment in educating their staff was just as important as the decision to purchase Hitachi StarBoards. The district currently utilizes a Just In Time (JIT) Staff Development program for training its teachers on how to incorporate the StarBoard into their curriculum. Teachers receive continuous real time training as they use the StarBoard to enhance their lessons utilizing this method. “It’s not enough to give a teacher a crash course on how to use the StarBoard and expect them to be able to fully integrate it into their lessons. We need to be there every step of the way to make sure a teacher is able to maximize the impact of the technology through a well developed lesson,” stated Karrie Ann Vitti, instructional technology staff developer for the Lynbrook School District. “We strongly believe in this method of supporting our teachers because they get the help they need when they need it,” added Mr. Nelson.

Ms. Vitti is responsible for working with teachers across the district and making sure they are comfortable utilizing the StarBoard on an everyday basis. “I always provide teachers with two options when educating them on using the StarBoard. They can either work with me directly or train interactively along with their students. Those that elect class training have advanced much more quickly because the students are also learning, eventually supporting the teacher,” added Ms. Vitti.

Lynbrook has also greatly benefited from the partnership between Hitachi and RM Education. Teachers are able to develop more enhanced lessons using the specific toolbars that correspond to the subject area they are teaching, utilizing the RM Easiteach software. “For a lesson that really integrates optimum technology, we encourage our teachers to utilize the RM Easiteach software because it gives them many more tools at their disposal,” stated Ms. Vitti. RM Easiteach software is now bundled as a free addition with every Hitachi StarBoard.

Additionally, teachers within the district have noticed a difference in their students utilizing the StarBoard. For example, Amy Cohen, a 5th grade teacher in the Lynbrook School District senses that the mindset of her students is different with the interactive whiteboard. “I notice my students aren’t afraid to come up to the StarBoard to try and solve a problem. They have a greater sense of confidence when they are doing something that utilizes the technology even if they make a mistake. It’s great that the students have been exposed to the StarBoard early as it will continue to be a part of their education at the middle school and high school levels. We are providing them with a skill set to aid in their education and ultimately help them in their chosen profession.”

The Hitachi StarBoard FXDUO is a multi-touch interactive whiteboard that can be operated with finger touch or a pen/stylus, and includes educational software to build and deliver interactive lessons with online and offline library of resources that have been aligned to US educational standards.

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