Shipley Makes Technology Upgrades to Prepare for Hybrid Learning
In preparation for Shipley’s conversion to a hybrid teaching and learning environment for all students, whether they will be learning on campus or at home, our Technology Department performed a thorough evaluation and upgrade of available classroom technology during the summer of 2020. The guiding principle was to ensure classrooms will provide authentic, two-way engagement between the students at home, the teacher, and other students in the class.
In the Middle and Upper Schools, 55 classrooms were equipped with Vaddio cameras that enable teachers to zoom in on the board and then pan to a corner of the room to focus on a group of students. Programmable presets allow teachers to move quickly between different areas of the classroom to better facilitate discussion groups and a more collaborative learning environment.
Each of these classrooms is also equipped with at least one ceiling microphone pod to capture audio from all areas of the room. The mic pod will cut out ambient noise to provide high quality audio, which is a crucial component to delivering curriculum online. The entire system is tied into existing AV in every classroom, so the audio of students learning online will come over the overhead speakers and the video feed of students will be projected to a screen. There is a dedicated computer driving this operation in each classroom.
In the Lower School, one classroom each in Grades 1 through 5 have been equipped with a Vaddio mounted camera and ceiling microphone to allow for students to stream instruction throughout the day. Regardless of assigned section, students will join the instruction in the room with the camera as teachers move in and out of classrooms to facilitate learning. In Pre-K and Kindergarten, teachers will be using an iPad on a cart that will allow for remote learners to get up close and personal to join instruction and be part of the group. In all grades, remote learners will join one section for the instruction and their assigned section for social activities like homeroom, snack, and lunch using the device that is in the room, be it an iPad (Pre-K through Grade 4) or a laptop (Grade 5). Personalizing the devices from the start will allow for an easy transition to remote learning if the need arises.
The entire school, Pre-K through Grade 12, will be one-to-one this year, with students in Pre-K through Grade 4 using iPads and students in Grades 4 through 12 using laptops.
Microsoft Teams will continue to serve as Shipley’s virtual collaboration platform, bringing together the virtual meeting experience, synchronous and asynchronous communication, and other tools that are integrated directly into the system.
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.