Bay County School District Continues Push to Go High-Tech

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Bay County teachers got a jam-packed tutorial Tuesday on the latest and greatest apps geared toward education. Appropriately named the "Fast and Furious Smackdown," district officials detailed more than 50 new applications in 60 minutes.

"We've definitely encouraged everybody to take a small bite," said Instructional Specialist Rhonda Sumpter.

Out of the dozens of apps, NewsChannel 7 picked 4 to highlight.

"Not every student has the funds to go purchase one of the T.I. graphing-type calculators, so 'Desmos' is an online graphic calculator," Sumpter said.

Then there's "Edcanvas."

"You can import video links, PDF files, images, your own voice recording and your own text, and put it together in a canvas," Sumpter said.

Want more interaction? Try "ThinkBinder."

"Thinkbinder is like a collaborative white board in the cloud. Students can get on and show how to do a math problem for example," said Sumpter.

And for those worried how teachers will keep an eye on students' use of these apps, there's also an app for that. It's called "AirServer." With one simple click, your iphone or ipad shows up on the teacher's whiteboard.

Tuesday's meeting aligns with the school district's push to make the classroom more interactive.

"You're seeing a lot of teacher websites, you're seeing them use the smartboards, you're seeing them use responders," Mosley High School History Teacher Matt Teplicek told NewsChannel 7's Bryan Anderson.

"It really just sparks an interest within the students, a desire to learn, and a desire to be curious about the subject matter and content in the classroom," added Instructional Technology Supervisor Tamra Hogue.

As the classroom dynamic changes in this digital age, so is the teacher's role.

"The word facilitor has been used. What teachers have to do is guide students," said Bay County School District Superintendent Bill Husfelt.

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