‘Interactive’ cross-country bus stops at Jackson

       A travelling bus filled with modern interactive education tools stopped in the Jackson Elementary parking lot for about two hours Feb. 22.

Inside the Promethean bus Feb. 22, Amanda Martinez (right) and her Jackson Elementary kindergarten class are introduced to some new interactive tools and programs. Leading the group at the interactive white board is Caitlin Kwan, one of the Promethean bus drivers/educators. Jackson is one of three Westside schools getting Promethean equipment with help from a grant.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The timing wasn't bad, either, for the visit by Promothean Technologies' ActivClassroom in Motion (a 36-foot RV-styled bus containing a variety of the British company's modern electronic learning equipment).
       That's because the Holland Park-area school, with the help of a $45,000 Morgridge Family Founda-tion grant (and matching school/district funds), is about to get some of that same equipment. These include interactive white boards, colloquially known as “smart boards,” for the rest of the classrooms in the school, according to technology teacher Rhonda Sobecki.
       Until Jackson's addition last year, which set up six new classrooms with similar boards by another manufacturer, the school was not so equipped.
       The boards, which can display computer screens and be manipulated with keyboards or hand-held devices, are replacing the traditional white or chalk boards.
       Howbert Elementary and Holmes Middle School on the Westside are getting similar upgrades through the Morgridge grant.
       The bus has been on the road since leaving Promethean facilities in Georgia in November, basically heading west. Promethean drivers/educators Caitlin Kwan and Jeff Kendall, who got their training in Georgia, said the bus was on its way to Utah by way of Denver.
       Two Jackson classes - kindergarten and fourth grade - as well as several students, families and staff visited the bus during its stay. “It was a fun, cool opportunity that it happened to be driving through,” Sobecki said.

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