March 2013 Update

Posted by Merri Lynn Colligan on 3/1/2013

Computer Replacements:

What is the overall timeline for teacher laptops and other computers?



Target Installation Date

Replace 32 laptops in cart to replace the MacBooks in the cart purchased in the fall of 2008.

AAOS, Abbot, Bach, Burns Park, Dicken, Haisley, King, Lakewood, Lawton, Logan, Pattengill, Wines

Fall 2013-2014

Replace General Use Labs and

Media Center search stations

All Schools

Fall 2013-14

Replace Classroom Desktops with new classroom technology

PreSchool and Elementary Schools


Replace Classroom

Desktops with new

classroom technology

Secondary Schools


Replace laptop carts with mobile technology

All Schools


Replace Teacher and Administrative Laptops

All Schools


What laptop and computer models are the committee recommending for replacements in the carts and Labs?

The Bond Committee has recommended the MacBook Airs for the first round of laptop replacements and the iMac Educational model for lab stations.

Will the labs and laptops still have the same software when the new computers are in place?

No. The new computers being purchased have the new Mountain Lion operating system. Many of our software packages are unable to function on this new operating system. Consequently, the district will be upgrading some of the software to newer versions, while other software will be retired as it is unable to run in the new environment and there is no upgrade path. The bond committee is working with the Curriculum Coordinators to identify new resources when retiring existing software.

Will teacher laptops be upgraded to Mountain Lion to match the student laptops?

No. Due to the age of the devices, the cost and the pending replacement of the teacher laptops, the district will not be upgrading the operating system for these devices. It is recommended that teachers utilize a student laptop to demonstrate for students until the teacher laptops are replaced.

Projectors and Interactive Technologies:

What is the overall timeline for projectors and interactive technologies?

Each Building will have their classroom projectors replaced with a new HD mounted projector focused at the whiteboard. Some interactive technologies will be located in buildings based on curricular needs identified by Instructional Services. All TVs and VCRs  will be removed from classrooms at the time of install. A few VCR/Projector carts will be available for circulation in each building to show VHS materials if needed. VCR/DVD combos supplied by the District during prior projector installations will remain in place as cabling allows.

The following timeline provides a basic schedule by building:


Target Installation Date

Pre School, Bryant, Carpenter, Pattengill, Pittsfield

Scarlett and A2 Tech will have standard throw projectors replaced.


Allen, Angel, Ann Arbor Open, Bach, Balas, Clague, Community, Lakewood, Lawton, Logan, Clemente

Huron and Pioneer will have standard throw projectors replaced.

Summer 2013

Abbot, Burns Park, Dicken, Eberwhite, Haisley, King, Mitchell, Northside, Thurston, Wines

2013-14 School Year

Forsythe, Slauson, Tappan, Huron, Pioneer, Skyline

Summer 2014

What is an ultra-short throw projector?

Below is a picture of an ultra-short throw projector. This type of projector requires less distance to project the image onto a surface allowing for a bigger image in a smaller space. This allows the projector to be mounted close to the wall without casting a shadow or shining in the presenters face. It also allows for a reduced hot spot as it can be positioned on a different angle.  

Why are the projectors being focused on the whiteboards?

In order to add interactive technology to the classroom in future, the projector needs to be focused at a hard surface. The bond budget does not have money for interactivity in every classroom, but the committee feels it is important to prepare the spaces for future implementations and provide a non-fixed interactive solution that can be added to classrooms as determined necessary to support curricular goals.

The option to place an interactive board (i.e. SMART or Promethean) over the existing whiteboard is very costly and newer technologies allow for the same interactive touch without the added cost of a board and without the permanent loss of whiteboard surface space.

Why is the district planning to mount the projector on the wall, over the whiteboard, rather than in the ceiling?

Wall mounted projectors are less costly to install (power and cabling costs are less) and easier to service.

Although standard projectors have been the mainstay of classroom presentations for a long time, the older classroom projectors are being quickly replaced by the new “short-throw” projectors. Short throw projectors are literally inches from the material allowing teachers and trainers to give presentations without “shadowing” the image.

Which buildings will have wall mounts and which will have ceiling mounted projectors?

Any building that currently has ceiling mounted projectors will have new projectors installed in the existing ceiling mount. Classrooms without mounted projectors will be surveyed for structural integrity and Barton Malow will recommend either the installation of a wall mounted projector or ceiling mounted projector.

How much space will the projector display on my whiteboard take?

The new projectors have a wide screen projection. The projected image can be up to 80 inches wide.

Space is a premium. Where will I place all my charts and diagrams that I hang up on my whiteboard?

These will need to be relocated in your classroom or digitized to be displayed through the projector.

Will the maps be relocated in the room?

No, the maps will not be reinstalled as there are digital resources for maps that can be utilized.

Will the screens be relocated in the room for use with overhead projectors? The screen assists because we can leave up our notes and still use the projector on the screen.

The relocation/placement of screens is still under consideration by the bond committee. We are aware of the concern regarding removing the screens and the need in some classrooms to utilize the screen for an overhead projector. The bond committee continue to investigate and collect costs for this issue.

Will these projectors allow for wireless projection or do we have to attach a cable to the laptop?

The teacher will need to connect their laptop to the teacher corner. A 15 foot cable will be provided to allow flexibility in the location of the teacher laptop.

Why is the district interested in interactive technology in the classroom?

Interactive lessons are available for a variety of subjects through the vendor communities and galleries, but  publishers continue to develop curriculum resources that include digital content as well as interactive activities and lessons as well. Interactivity allows students to learn by manipulating and actively participating in the lessons. This differentiation can impact those students who may be kinesthetic learners rather than visual or auditory learners. It also assists in providing another means of engagement and representation.

Currently the district has interactive curriculum through TCI for Middle School Social Studies and is evaluating Everyday Math E-suite solution at the Elementary level which also has interactivity woven into the delivery model.

What is the process for determining which classrooms will receive  interactive technology?

The District is currently looking at placement of interactive technologies with the following curricular focuses:

Elementary: Math Focus (Everyday math E-suite and Do the Math materials) - targeting a specific grade level

Middle School: Social Studies (TCI resources)

High School: Math and Science with a review process to determine who will be assigned the devices.

What type of interactive technology will be available in the classrooms?

There are three categories of interactive technologies currently on the market, Interactive Boards, Interactive Projectors, and non-fixed hardware based technologies. The district reviewed the costs associated with all three solutions. Interactive projectors were costed out through the projector bid process. Although these solutions are technically viable, the cost, ability to relocate and share the non-fixed hardware based solutions will allow the district to provide more classrooms with interactive technology.

A non-fixed interactive technology system is a small device that is attached to a standard whiteboard to convert it into an interactive whiteboard. Portable devices attach themselves with rubber suckers or magnets to standard dry-erase whiteboards. They are then connected to the laptop or desktop computer, allowing you to write your notes or drawings on the whiteboard and download them onto your computer to save, print, or e-mail them.

Specially designed pens write on the whiteboard that use infra-red and ultrasound technology to determine where on the whiteboard you are writing and transmit the signal to the base unit.. You can touch the board with the pen to control the computer mouse cursor. As you move the pen across the whiteboard, displaying the computer image, the mouse cursor follows. These devices are extremely portable and can be used on any whiteboard. These are ideal in classrooms for making good use of existing standard whiteboards.

The bond committee is reviewing the following interactive technologies. These technology have been placed in classrooms for teacher to evaluate.