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White County Receives Grant For Interactive Panels Inside All Schools

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White County Receives Grant For Interactive Panels Inside All Schools

A grant awarded to the White County Schools will allow teachers to replace their white boards with interactive panels.

The three-year Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant awarded the district just under $990,000. Interactive panels have already been installed in elementary school classrooms. White County Middle School will get its panels before the end of the year, while the high school will get screens next school year. Technology Director Ashley Rust said the panels improve education.

“Right now our schools they really just have a projector and a white board,” Rust said. “So, the panel itself is interactive so they can pull up interactive materials online and teach. It has 20 points of touch. It allows you to split the screen and have multiple students up at the board.”

The middle school and high school will also receive a video conferencing camera with their panels. The cameras will allow for virtual field trips, college tours and increased dual credit options. A total of 200 cameras will be purchased.

“They would be able to access online teachers like with Motlow and through TCAT, so the teachers wouldn’t have to come into the building,” Rust said. “We could also offer more courses between the high school and the middle school. You know, if we had a high school teacher that needed to teach a course at middle school they could do that remotely.”

Rust said she does not expect students will have a hard time adjusting to the new technology.

“This technology is all around them right without just having the panel,” Rust said. “This is just what they’re used to in every day real world. Bringing this in should increase engagement and learning in the class room as well as getting to provide those extra opportunities. It is definitely more interactive and more engaging for them.”

A total of 151 panels will be installed across the system. Rust said she applied for the grant in August, 2022. She said the application was 50 pages long, but it was worth the work.

“It was a long process and a lot of hours, Rust said. “I couldn’t have done it without Emily Barnes who is my Instructional Technology Coach. She really helped gather data. I focused more on equipment and building the things we would need for each classroom, and then Shelia Felton is our Federal Programs Supervisor, and she was a big part in this grant as well.”


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