During the winter of 2009, a task force comprised of board members, administrators, teachers and parents was formed to evaluate the current and future role of technology in education and to explore avenues of implementation aimed at enhancing the educational experience of students at AGBU MDS.
It was clear from the inception that many advances were being made around the globe and that we had already fallen behind. The mission was not only to see that MDS would catch up to its peers but would also become a model school for the use of technology in and outside the classroom.
The introduction of ELMO projector units, SMART technology, a CISCO Academy, and a complete upgrade of the computers in all the computer labs along with the Rosetta Stone language program are already a reality today. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the full support and generosity of the entire school community. Parents from kindergarten through high school came together with the PTO and helped raise over $120,000 during an unprecedented intense fundraising campaign and made the SMART board program a reality within a few short months.
AGBU MDS is perhaps the only K-12 institution in California that can boast of having a SMART board in every single classroom, which is an accomplishment that by it self places MDS on the education technology map.
The most ambitious goal set forth by the task force was the installation of a fiber optic and wireless network infrastructure that would catapult our campus to the leading edge of information sharing and communication. Commitment from the Board of Trustees and an incredible amount of time and effort invested by volunteer members of the Information Technology Task Force have resulted in the recent ground breaking of this immense technology upgrade at MDS.
Crews are working tirelessly to install state-of-the-art fiber optic cables, wireless base stations and CISCO networking switches all across campus. In the coming months, during 2011-2012, teachers and students alike will have networking capabilities only seen at the most elite and exclusive academies and schools nationwide.
The school is simultaneously pushing forward with a comprehensive professional development program to enable teachers to harness and exploit the opportunity such an incredible leap forward provides. Once the new infrastructure is operational and in place, testing will commence on the introduction of personal learning tablets intended to allow classroom collaboration, access to information school wide and a welcome lightweight alternative to the 30lb rolling book bag!