Mansfield ISD has been a SAFARI Montage customer since December 2010. Dr. Doug Brubaker, MISD Assistant Superintendent, Technology & Information Services, said that prior to implementing SAFARI Montage, most multimedia purchases were made at the campus level.
“One of our main goals was to provide a standard and equitable source of digital content for the entire district,” he said. MISD had also undertaken a districtwide multimedia project with the implementation of projectors and document cameras in the classrooms. With the investment in technology, Dr. Brubaker says that it was important to select a digital media system that could leverage these resources. “SAFARI Montage met a lot of needs for us,” he said. “It was a great way to get a lot from one product, and in very short order.”
Soon after the SAFARI Montage implementation, MISD set up a feedback page on its existing blog to receive comments from teachers. Much of the feedback has focused on the quality of content, as well as the effectiveness of the SAFARI Montage search engine. One teacher notes, “I just type in the subject we are working on and there is always something on it that goes with the unit. The students really love it!” Dr. Brubaker confirms that searching by standard and subject is a plus for the system.
In addition to accessing the preloaded content on SAFARI Montage, MISD uses the Selective Video Streaming module, providing four digital channels to the schools and allowing each school to broadcast live school announcements each day. The district has not implemented uploading of content on a wide scale as of yet, but plans to do more as more staff become trained and receive upload permissions. There have been a number of Promethean ActivInspire training videos uploaded for staff training purposes.
Looking ahead, Dr. Brubaker said that Pathways SM™ will be a critical part of the district’s effort to reduce costs, in terms of both energy, and wear and tear on the equipment. He also sees MISD working to make the use of technology as seamless as possible for its staff. “Our vision is to provide tools that are so engaging, powerful and user-friendly that teachers of all technology skill levels are eager to use them.”
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