James Hoyer, Assistant Director of Instructional Technology at North East Independent School District (NEISD) Located in San Antonio, Texas, understands the success that happens when the connection between the teacher’s voice and the learner’s mind occurs.
In order to improve the listening and learning environment for every child and strengthen the connection between teachers and students, NEISD needed to amplify 2,500 classrooms.
The Tech Decision
To manage such a large rollout, Hoyer began by doing campus walkthroughs with administrators from each campus to determine eligible instructional settings for the installation. He and a team of 22 instructional technology specialists then worked to verify and ensure all appropriate classrooms were accounted for and identified for installation of the new systems.
When it came to training teachers, Hoyer said the simplicity of the product needed to allow the district to offer simple advice: You plug it in, turn it on, and it works. Strap the mic around your neck and go do what you do.
NEISD chose Lightspeed Technologies Topcat ceiling-mounted all-in-one systems, Redcat Access portable speakers, and Flexmike microphones for teacher and student use. The impetus of the large-scale classroom implementation of Lightspeed Technologies is the instant impact to all learners in the classroom.
Lightspeed classroom audio systems allow teachers to speak in normal conversational tones while being assured that every child has an equal opportunity to hear all of the instruction.
The Redcat provides clear, low-volume, highly intelligible sound that is evenly distributed throughout the classroom so every child hears every word.
The company’s audio system for small group instruction, Flexcat, gives teachers the ability to gain insights into small group interactions and learning.
David Solomon, the executive vice president and general manager of Lightspeed Technologies says that it has been a privilege to be a partner in NEISD’s innovative and straightforward approach to leveraging instructional technology.
The Lightspeed team and the district worked together seamlessly. Hoyer, who has been in district-level educational technology for 17 years said that he has been involved in a number of technology initiatives, and none has been as easy to implement or as functionally reliable as the Lightspeed amplification systems. It’s some of the best instructional technology money he has spent during his tenure.
The district is encouraging all teachers to use their Lightspeed systems. Throughout the year, random Mondays are deemed “Mike-Up Mondays,” where district specialists and campus leadership make special note to encourage all teachers to use the systems and provide assistance when needed to ensure the system is functioning properly. District employees also use the Lightspeed systems when they gather teachers for professional development events.
The NEISD Technology Services team has been a model example of how to manage installation, implementation, and teacher participation. It is gratifying to see so many teachers embrace solutions quickly and experience immediate benefits in the classroom.