Thomasville Times Enterprise


April 24, 2014

City schools using 3D technology

THOMASVILLE — Teachers and students at Thomasville High School and MacIntyre Park Middle School are using the latest 3 Dimensional (3D) technology by ViziTech USA in the classroom to engage students, increase understanding and comprehension and improve retention.

3D projection devices, or AV Rovers, are brought into the classroom and immediately create a 3D, interactive learning environment for all students.

Teachers and students are able to view video content, participate in interactive labs and dissect all types of objects, including animals and machines, all in amazing 3D.

The 21st century technology has been around for several years, but schools throughout the southeast have recently started implementing the technology in classrooms.

“By partnering with ViziTech USA, Thomasville City Schools’ administrators and teachers have demonstrated a great vision by ensuring that their students are using the tools and strategies of the future today,” indicated Stewart Rodeheaver, founder and president of ViziTech USA Inc. in Eatonton.

“We are proud to partner with Thomasville City Schools to reach each student in a way that research shows creates the most effective way the brain learns,” he added.

In addition to being used in Thomasville City Schools, 3D technology is being used by businesses throughout the country in their training programs and by most schools in the Technical College System of Georgia.  

Ms. Crocker, sixth-grade science teacher, recently taught a unit about the universe and the solar system.  She designed an introductory lesson around 3D videos and images to help her students grasp the abstract concepts of space.

“During the 3D lesson, my students were fully engaged and actively enthusiastic learners.  Even after the lesson was completed, many of the students verbally expressed a desire to continue learning through 3D simulation,” she said.

Students and staff at MacIntyre Park Middle School are exposed to an array of technology on a daily basis.  This has not only enriched the learning process for the students but has made learning fun!  Students are eager to learn and increase their knowledge by way of technology.

 “The 3D machine is good for learning science.  When you put on the glasses and turn them on, it’s like the picture is in front of you. I’m a visual learner so I like to see things,” said Arkeishia Ford, a sixth-grade student

Her classmate, LaGheisha Hicks, another self-described visual learner, added, “The 3D machine helps me learn better because I have to have it in front of me to understand better.  It seems like you are at the movies.  That is how cool it is”

“Technology seems to come naturally to my students and the use of it at MPMS has only enhanced student capacity to learn,” according to Crocker.

Thomasville City Schools has purchased three ViziTech 3D mobile learning units that are being used in classes at Thomasville High, Scholars Academy and MacIntyre Park Middle School.  The technology can be used in just about any content area.

“The addition of 3D technology to our schools is just another step in providing our students with the best technology offered for 21st Century learning”, commented Bill Settle, Director of Federal Programs.

Thomasville City Schools is the first school system in the state of Georgia to install Sharp’s 60-inch Interactive LED boards in each classroom at MPMS this past year during the construction of the new middle school building.

Donita Hinckley, Instructional Technology Coordinator, expressed excitement about the school system’s innovative outlook on technology, “Walking through our schools at all levels you will see technology in use everywhere.  Elementary students will be seen using iPads, laptops, Chromebooks and SmartBoards.  At the secondary level visitors can witness students using laptops, netbooks, SmartBoards, Sharp’s Interactive LED Boards, 3D technology, and a new system for collaborative work called FlexCat.”

 “Our students in middle and high school are still using the netbooks we received through the eTextbooks grant four years ago.  Each student in middle school at the Scholars Academy and at the high school is assigned a netbook to be used throughout the year in their classes and at home,” Hinckley said.   

Thomasville City Schools is definitely a leader of technology integration within its schools both in south Georgia and the state of Georgia.  The system has been researching and collaborating with its staff over the past year to develop a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy that will allow students to bring their own technology into the classrooms of Thomasville City Schools.

The policy is to go into effect in August.

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