Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District is a K-12 public school system located in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex. They are committed to educational excellence and bold, innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Grapevine-Colleyville ISD covers pre-K to 12th grade and teaches around 14,000 students across two cities.
During their latest bond, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD planned to completely upgrade their classroom ecosystems from more tradional projectors. They wanted a device that would increase interactivity and collaboration in their day-to-day instruction.
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD’s focus on technology centered around making instruction easier for teachers to provide high-level instruction and untether them from the front of a classroom. So they needed a device that was intuitive and easy to use without rigorous training required for their teachers. A device that allowed for a central management system would help the technical support team. And a device that did not require a special stylus or pen would allow Grapevine-Colleyville ISD to remove barriers for students.
When COVID-19 began to shut down in-person learning in Spring 2020, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD started to craft a strategy for a return to the classroom that would be an easy transition for everyone, including teachers, in-person students, and remote students.
Working with Trox, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD teamed up with Newline Interactive to deploy over 700 RS and RS+ Series interactive touch displays across their schools.
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD was especially impressed with the brightness and clarity of the panels. Their teachers and students had been working with deteriorating projectors that made it hard to see or read what was displayed. The switch to Newline’s panels made an immediate impression in regards to the legibility of displayed text and the bright, vivid colors on played videos. Being able to write directly on the touch screen without needing a special stylus allowed students of all ages to interact directly with the display and their lessons.
During the pilot program, they replaced teacher’s projectors with Newline displays and offered no training to test how intuitive the displays were. Teachers found they could immediately get started with their lessons on the displays, connect to their Google Drive and Google Classroom, take notes, and more with ease.
Shortly after their deployment, COVID-19 shut down in-person schooling. With a new kind of safety challenge to consider, Grapevine-Colleyville was grateful to have a strong partner in Newline, who worked with the school district to find the best solution for the unexpected situation. The ultimate goal was to add onto the Newline ecosystem so that teachers would not have to learn a new system, and provide a way for teachers to instruct both in-person students and remote students simultaneously.
After research, Grapevine-Colleyville added to their setup a webcam mounted from the ceiling that faced the teacher and the display, as well as microphones so the teachers coulbd be heard more clearly while wearing masks for the safety of everyone.
During the initial deployment, teachers regained the freedom to walk around their classroom and not be tied to a corner of the room. On-board computers gave teachers all the power of a desktop right on the wall. And built-in wireless casting allowed teachers to share content from their smartphone or tablet up onto the large Newline display without having to be anchored next to the screen.
Teachers and students alike enjoyed interacting with the Newline displays during class. As digital natives, the students loved being able to touch and interact with the intuitive touch screen just as they would with a smartphone or tablet at home. Students began playing with the display and even excitedly showing teachers the many things that the display could do.
Facing the challenges of teaching in the time of COVID-19, Grapevine-Colleyville was able to find clear success from the moment students began slowly returning to in-person learning.
The school district had an almost even split between students who wanted to return to the classroom and those who wanted to remain virtual. Rather than having to teach the same lesson twice, changing their lesson to better fit a remote environment, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD teachers only had to teach their lesson once, and without making any adjustments for remote students other than teaching in front of a camera.
By having a webcam facing the teacher and the display, teachers could put their laptop in front of them so they could see their remote students and teach as if they were in the room with them. With additional microphones, students could better hear their teachers while wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The burden on teachers was lessened in a stressful time through integrating Newline displays, an ecosystem they were familiar with, into a blended learning environment that keeps students learning even in a pandemic.