Technology is morphing the way teachers connect students to class material.
At St. Edmond Elementary School, the Mimio is one example of high-tech programs changing the educational landscape.
Teachers at St. Edmond have introduced the Mimio, an interactive, wireless device that allows one to project programs from a computer onto a whiteboard. A wireless pen-like stylus allows them to change screens and write while going from one program to another.
Fort Dodge City Engineer Chad Schaeffer uses a wireless Mimio device similar to a computer mouse as he tests out the equipment at St. Edmond Elementary School recently. The Mimio allows presenters to teach, write and change screens without touching the computer screen.
"We're finding that the students are remembering things better as we use the program, and we can always come back and refer to them later," said Michelle O'Brien, a first-grade teacher who was training St. Edmond teachers. "When we use technology together, the students find it easier than doing a worksheet at home or their desks."
Many Mimio programs work similar to the PowerPoint - a presentation program from Microsoft, but are different in that the instructor can add graphics, charts and notes as they present.
"The applications are endless," O'Brien said. "It is word compatible; you can download and implement documents, images and sounds from other programs."
The program also includes a MimioView camera that can project images directly from a textbook onto a screen.
"It's replacing the overhead," said O'Brien. "As we use them more, the kids are asking for these technologies, and that speaks volumes."
The Mimio isn't just for the classroom.
The city of Fort Dodge is ready to implement it into their meetings as well, which brought City Engineer Chad Schaeffer and GLS Specialist Dave Odor to St. Edmond to get an introductory course in the use of a Mimio.
"The city is looking to change presentations for staff and council meetings," said Schaeffer. "Right now we use lots of paper, and lots of sticky notes, and when you want to look at something six months later, you have to back through all those big rolls of paper, and I am the only one that has a copy of them."
While the city may be looking to make work more efficient, the program may be making learning more fun and accessible for students.
"When the students ask for things like this, that is telling us we really need to change," said O'Brien.
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