Frenchtown Elementary School was established in 1925 on the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It’s an intimate educational environment with 166 students. Serving grades K-8, the school’s mission is to prepare students to meet the challenges of rapid globalization.
Frenchtown Elementary adopted interactive whiteboards in the 2011/12 school year. The teachers were thrilled about the endless possibilities that this new technology provided, but quickly found out that they needed to create their own content in a program that was difficult to use and therefore very time consuming.
“I had to spend many hours researching how to use the software that came with our interactive whiteboard,” said middle school teacher Jennifer Baker. “It is hard for teachers who already have full plates, and are often technology challenged, to create engaging content that uses the interactive features of the whiteboard.”
The interactive whiteboards, therefore, weren’t used to their fullest potential and teachers struggled with engaging their students using this device.
When searching for a web-based alternative, they found Gynzy’s interactive whiteboard program on the Google Play for Education Store. Gynzy is a web-based app that includes hundreds of precreated interactive K-8 activities that are all aligned to the common core and state standards. There is content for math, language arts, science and social studies. Teachers create engaging lessons, simply by combining interactive activities, images, sounds, videos and other content. There are also hundreds of pre-created lessons that teachers can choose from.
Created with busy teachers in mind, installing Gynzy was as easy as downloading the app and creating an account. “There’s hardly any learning curve with the product” says Peter Moran, the district’s Technology Coordinator. “It looks easy, it is easy, and teachers love that.”
The activities that teachers use are designed to engage students since they are so visual and simple to interact with. “As soon as I introduced Gynzy to my students they became involved right away. Students who had difficulty engaging in a lesson became eager to come to the board and participate,” says Jennifer Baker, middle school teacher.
District Technology Coordinator Peter Moran believes in the potential of technology and wants to prepare his students for a technology-infused world. By instilling technology in the students’ lives they are better prepared for the time ahead that will include more and more technology.
“Products like Gynzy make it easier to infuse technology in the students’ lives going forward.” Peter Moran, District Technology Coordinator
Gynzy is a huge time saver. Minimal or no professional development is required to start using the program and the everincreasing library of ready-to-use activities and lessons save teachers the time they would normally spend on creating their own lessons. This provides teachers with the opportunity to spend time where it’s most necessary. “Gynzy has allowed me to do more oneon-one interaction with my students than ever before. That’s a huge development for us”, according to Allison Okolichany, second grade teacher.
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