Over 175 educators from across the midwest toured Minnetonka schools late last week to see how technology is utilized across the district.
"Since passing a Technology Referendum in 2002, Minnetonka has become a national leader in using educational technology as an accelerator of learning," said Superintendent Dennis Peterson.
Last Friday's focus was on the iPad project at Minnetonka High School as part of the 8th Annual Technology Site Institute.
"Technology has become an essential part of teaching and preparing our students for the 21st century," Peterson said.
All Minnetonka classrooms have SMART boards, allowing students to interact and participate. Sound field solutions enabe all students to hear the teacher’s voice anywhere in the room during a lesson. Handheld student response systems are used in classrooms E-12.
"And this school year, 1,600 ninth and tenth graders are using iPads to access digital curriculum materials and student collaboration tools while also receiving individualized instruction in all subjects with the goal of enhancing student learning," Peterson said. "The use of technology in the classroom benefits all of our students. They are more engaged in learning and student achievement has increased.
"In Minnetonka, technology has changed the way teachers teach and children learn."
• In 2007, Minnetonka was one of three districts across the United States chosen by the National School Boards Association to hold a technology tour for educators.
• In 2008, Minnetonka was honored as a National School Boards Association Technology Salute District.
• In 2010, Julie Carter, Executive Director of Technology, was named one of National School Boards Association’s “20 to Watch” in Technology.
• Minnetonka’s 1:1 iPad Pilot is being showcased as an 2012-13 Apple Distinguished Program and a model for other school districts.
• The district has received five national awards for use of technology in the classroom in the recent years.
• Four teachers were finalists in the SMART Technologies World Teachers’ Day Video Contest. Clear Springs Elementary special education teacher Kelly Kautz was the regional winner for North America.