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Touch screens put learning at students' fingertips



Many adults can remember the classroom blackboard and the squeaky noise the chalk made as the teacher demonstrated math equations, right?

CMSD is now on a mission to make sure that every classroom in the District is equipped with a Clevertouch, an interactive screen. Using the boards, students and educators can access and display digital content, share their screens and move elements by touch.

Some schools already had the 75-inch interactive screens when the project began in May. So far, the District has installed more than 1,500 of 1,816 Clevertouches needed to equip the remaining classrooms. Installation is expected to be complete early this year. 

CMSD is covering the cost -- $10.5 million – with federal COVID relief funds.

Memorial School teacher Sara Baldassar said the eighth graders she was working with earlier this school year quickly embraced Clevertouch.

In one class, she discussed the hierarchy of governments worldwide. The many raised hands showed a level of energy among the students.

"The kids think it's cool technology," Baldassar said. “They sometimes show me how to do stuff on it, which is fantastic. It creates a learning environment where we learn from each other. And that connection allows teachers to bond with the students."

“I enjoy having Clevertouch technology because it's fun to toy around with a bit,” said Tyler, one of the eighth graders. “That gives me the opportunity to see all I can do with it. It’s awesome.”

Baldassar's students inspired CMSD’S mass move to Clevertouch.

District CEO Eric Gordon visited Memorial last year for what CMSD calls demonstrations of learning. The demonstrations, included in the District’s New Vision for Learning, allow students to present and get feedback on projects they choose and research.

The CEO was impressed with the ecosystem research that Baldassar's students prepared and displayed on Clevertouch. He decided all students should have that digital connection.

"Ultimately, this will make our kids more employable and better citizens because they understand how to use the technology," Baldassar said. "What's great is they are not afraid to engage with it, and we've given them the experience they will need to be successful adults."