Technology Solutions for Today’s Classrooms

SVRTC met virtually for their first monthly meeting for the 2020-2021 school year on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, hosted by ITTIP. This is the first virtual meeting in SVRTC’s history. There were 19 members from 11 school divisions (Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Colonial Heights, Cumberland, Danville, Greensville, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, Sussex) present for the meeting. The professional development for the meeting was presented collaboratively by Chris Clayville, Audio Enhancement, and Johnny Sink, Clinton Learning Solutions.

Screen shot of presentation screen.

Since school divisions are adjusting to modifying in person learning environments (e.g. speaking while wearing a mask, desks/students socially distanced), Mr. Clayville and Mr. Sink presented on four different products that could be purchased independently or as a module. The first system was Audio Solutions. Here, the presenters described the benefits of audio enhancements for the classroom. The second system, Education Paging and Intercom Communications (EPIC), was described. A few of the features of this system included having the capability to specify and stagger bell schedules, send audio notifications to school zones, and the integration of security systems such as phones or fire alarms with an additional solution Signal Alert for Education (SAFE) System. Features with the SAFE system would enable teachers to notify the front office or administration in the case of an emergency or discipline issue. In addition, the presenters discussed the Video Interactive Education Window (VIEW) Path platform, that enables teachers to video their lesson for live streaming or playback options.

The presenters ended the presentation by explaining how the audio solutions could be paired with other solutions presented. A video recording of the presentation on these audio enhancement solutions is available. You can also visit SVRTC’s Professional Development page to access the presenters’ slides and contact information if you want to learn more about their solutions. Additional video links and testimonies can be found below:

eSports in Virginia

SVRTC met for their monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, at Nottoway High School and attracted 22 members from 14 school divisions (Amelia, Buckingham, Brunswick, Cumberland, Danville, Franklin City, Greensville, Prince Edward, Prince George, Hopewell City, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Sussex). Melissa Hanes, Buckingham County, organized the professional development for the meeting to be presented by Randy Fisher, from Louisa County Public Schools, on their eSports program.

Man on screen with headphones.
SVRTC members listen and ask questions to Mr. Fisher about Louisa County Public Schools eSports teams.

Mr. Fisher joined the SVRTC meeting virtually and provided an overview of how Louisa County school division is running eSports with their students. He explained the county currently is engaging their students in competing in League of Legends, Rocket League, and Smite eSports games. Mr. Fisher explained League of Legends and Smite require each team to have five members and Rocket League requires only three members on each team. Currently, Louisa runs two teams for both League of Legends and Smite and three teams for Rocket League.

In addition to the team members, Mr. Fisher added that teams can have up to two subs per team and one coach. The teams meet three days per week for practice. Team members for the eSports were selected by completing an application with the proper paperwork, agreeing to dedicate their time to the sport. There were over one hundred students that were interested in joining.

Mr. Fisher also explained the technology recommendations that would work with all the games, including the existing computer labs that were transformed to use for the eSports. In addition to the twenty computers in the eSports lab, the teams can utilize ten computers in the lab next door which is very beneficial at times for the players/teams.

Currently, there are seventeen schools from Virginia that are competing in the Virginia High School League (VHSL). There is a charge of $64.00 per player to compete. Currently Louisa schools is paying for the students through their Athletics department.

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