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BOE purchases educational technology

At the Brewton City Board of Education, the phrase “the early bird gets the worm” is not taken lightly. They are working ahead this summer to get innovative technology ready for the 2019-2020 school year.

Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Varner announced the board purchased three 70” flat screen interactive panel packages and 24 virtual reality headsets. Both projects were funded by the board’s 21st Century program.

Varner described the interactive panels as “giant tablets.” He said the panels can be mounted vertically for the whole class to see and horizontally like an interactive tabletop.

“Interactive panels have been shown to increase student interaction and collaboration,” Varner said. “These panels can help create a more effective learning environment that promotes project based learning activities, student-led discussions, and more engaging whole class instruction.”

Varner said these panels can benefit all types of learning styles. The three interactive panels from Information Transport Solutions cost a total of $20,429.79.

Varner said the VR headsets from Synergetics Diversified Computer Services will allow students to venture miles away from their classrooms all while sitting in class. Varner said students will be able to explore the ocean, rain forest and even outer space.

“They will be able to see things they might not otherwise have a chance to see in real life,” Varner said. “We believe the experiences gained through virtual field trips will help students build background knowledge and remember new content all while learning skills needed to use cutting edge technology appropriately.”

Varner said the VR headsets will help make learning more hands-on and interactive. The headsets have a 30-month warranty and cost a total of $21,869.00.

Both of these projects will be accessible to students in the 2019-2020 school year.