Hundreds of Duncanville ISD teachers are using the latest
technology in their classrooms and have the training they need thanks to
ongoing efforts by the district’s Technology Department. This school year alone,
Chief Technology Officer Kyle Berger and his staff have provided nearly 3,000
individual training sessions on how to use new laptops, interactive projectors,
document cameras and the software that makes the equipment run.
“Every time something new comes out, I’m on the bandwagon.
If it’s a benefit, why not use it?” said Duncanville High School AP Government
teacher, Dianne Williams.
Williams has been unimpressed by the technology she has seen
in classrooms in other districts. “I thought, my gosh, they are still living in
the Stone Age. I appreciate what Duncanville has done in terms of trying to
move us forward into the 21st century as it relates to technology,”
When the Duncanville community passed the $102.545 million
bond in November of 2014, the district received $17.6 million to upgrade
technology. During the summer of 2015, the Technology Department completed $13
million in network updates in 65 days. Technicians installed new phones,
increased the district’s network speed, expanded wireless capabilities and
added video conferencing for teachers and staff.
At the beginning of the 2015 – 2016 school year,
Duncanville’s 834 teachers received new tablet-laptops. Throughout the year,
technicians have been installing new mounted projectors, document cameras,
sound systems with microphones and interactive projector software in every
classroom throughout the district. Dianne Williams says she believes using the
latest technology makes it easier to reach her students.
“If you look it at a comparison with a teacher who doesn’t
use those tools and one who does, I bet I get more out of my students
productivity-wise than a teacher who doesn’t,” Williams said.
New technology can bring with it questions and quirks.
Duncanville High School Biology teacher Ryann Taylor said help desk technicians
have always provided great customer service.
“Tiffany (Wells) and
Lorrie (Goodnight) are amazing. They are lifesavers,” Taylor said. “I can call
Tiffany, she remote logs in and takes care of it right away. I believe I’m her
favorite! They’re all so friendly, they’re all so helpful. Everything I need,
they treat it like it’s an emergency.”