As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, the Wilmington Area School District is looking toward the Fall 2020 semester and how COVID-19 will affect the start of a new school year. Although the details of how this pandemic will affect school functions is yet to be seen, it is clear that educational technology will be a paramount aspect of achieving successful delivery of education – whether in-class or in-home. The WASD Technology Department – powered by Questeq – is dedicated to the needs of Wilmington’s Teachers, Students, and Staff.
Wilmington Area SD, unlike many surrounding districts, found itself in a greater position to respond and react to the state-wide school closures in March 2020. For several years, the district has been committed to the infusion of technology into curriculum and operations. Although no one predicted a situation such as this pandemic, the district’s growth with educational technology has proved to be invaluable in providing quality education to all students during the final quarter of the 2019/2020 school year.
Using both newly acquired and already on-hand resources, the Wilmington Technology Department has developed a new workstation model that they have coined the “EduStation.” EduStations are designed to provide every Wilmington teacher with all of the tools needed to succeed under the new COVID-19-related instructional changes. Each unit will include:
- Mobile Teacher Workspace/Lectern – A mobile platform for the Teacher to use as a workspace and virtual classroom control station.
- Windows Laptop – Teacher’s device for all instructional, operational, and employment related needs.
- Large Format Touch Display – These large (65”+) touch screens are both physically and figuratively at the center of every classroom. These displays enable teachers to not only display multimedia content, but also interact and create content.
- Apple iPad – These devices may serve as the camera for recording or streaming classes, either as a teacher-facing camera or as a document camera. They may also serve as a teacher device for classroom management, including but not limited to: Google Meet management/monitoring
- Articulating iPad/Tablet Mount – Provides the teacher a hands-free option to use the tablet in many forms.
- Wireless Microphone – Provides clear instruction from teachers to remote students while allowing the teacher to be mobile and untethered.
Additionally, a limited number of optional document cameras are available to supplement requirements to show content on the large format display or directly into a virtual classroom so that the entire class can see. These devices have proven to be extremely useful in mathematics, science, and most elementary level classrooms.
The proposed “EduStations” are designed with remote learning in mind and can be customized to accommodate every teacher’s own unique teaching methods and preferences. By combining devices already familiar to Wilmington teachers with new tools designed specifically to address the unique new requirements presented by COVID-19, we believe the EduStations will provide the flexibility and capability needed to respond to any upcoming demands in an easy, cost effective way.
About Wilmington Area School District: Located in New Wilmington in Lawrence County, PA, WASD serves roughly 1,067 students. Along with New Wilmington, it serves students from Volant, Pulaski, Wilmington Township, Washington Township, and Plain Grove Township in Lawrence County, as well as Wilmington Township in Mercer County. In 2015, WASD’s Administration and School Board sought out technology management assistance from Questeq, a firm with over 40 years’ experience working with educators to improve the impact of technology in the classroom. In 2017, it was one of less than 200 school districts worldwide to be named as a Google Reference District, serving as a resource and model of excellence for other educators and districts evaluating or using Chromebooks and G Suite for Education. Today, it is still one of only 141 US School Districts to carry the title. Learn more at www.wilmington.k12.pa.us.