Training the Teachers
Once the school had project approval, it then set its sights on implementation and training. Hinsdale wanted to get the Tablet PCs into teachers hands before the summer vacation, so they would have the entire summer to become familiar with the hardware. "We were very deliberate about training teachers before summer vacation, and we worked closely with CDW in terms of meeting our deadline. We also ran a number of formal workshops in the summer and fall," said Polzin.CDW-G, Microsoft and Toshiba participated in training teachers on the new tablets. The teacher who had run the initial pilot test also played a role in the training session. "It was important the teacher was there as well to show them how they used itso it was not only us as vendors, but they had their peer advocating the technology and use," said Chris Rother, vice president for education, state and local at CDW-G. So far, the initiative has been an overwhelming success, said Polzin. "If you walk down our halls, I think you will see that our teachers are very happy with the Tablet [PC] technology," said Polzin. "Were not interested in inventing the technology school of the future; we want to be the instructional school of the future, and we think this has a significant impact on the instruction of the future." And this is just the beginning of Hinsdales efforts to improve classroom instruction through technology. Eventually, Hinsdale plans to outfit every student in its school system with a Tablet PC. This semester theyre also planning to implement Microsofts Class Server and SharePoint online resources to support classroom instruction. "This will give students greater access to content and curriculum from homes," said Polzin. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.
With CDW-Gs help, Hinsdale rolled out 300 Tablet PCs to all its teachers and an additional 250 for student use.