"Excited" is the word Geeter Middle School students repeat when describing their thoughts about landing the nation's first Samsung "Smart School Solution," an advanced teaching technology that changes the way students learn.
The technology brings a modern, efficient way to engage students that could revolutionize classroom learning forever.
Suddenly, Geeter is on the world stage as America's test site for Samsung's new digital teaching tools, and Memphis City Schools earns a feather in its educational cap.
Samsung Electronics America selected Memphis' well-crafted program application among those from numerous school districts across the country.
The result ... a Geeter Math class, taught by Michael Greene, is the beneficiary of a Samsung donation, which includes 35 Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets worth $499 each, a 65-inch digital whiteboard with software worth $8,000, professional consultations, and more.
For folks unfamiliar with new technology, the digital whiteboard replaces the classroom "chalk board" (well on its way to extinction) and allows touch screen use.
"I dreamed of having something like this during my lifetime, but never thought it would happen," said Greene. "I'm elated about using the cutting-edge technology to provide individualized instruction to my students."
"'Smart School Solution' is bringing back pride into our community" said Geeter principal Kenneth Pinkney. "Our students are supporting and challenging each other, and our parents are just as excited that Geeter was chosen among many schools to pilot this program in America."
Students in Seoul, South Korea, were among the first in the world to use the Samsung technology, and through "Smart School Solution," Geeter students in Memphis will communicate directly with Seoul students about the new learning tools.
Did you ever feel embarrassed when raising your hand to ask the teacher a question? Have you ever been less than confident about your answer when the teacher called on you?
With the new technology, those days are over – just one of many benefits of digital instruction.
Using the tablet and keyboard, Geeter students can text questions to the teacher, or provide answers to questions without every student in class seeing the interaction. The teacher can respond directly to a student by texting answers to their tablet, or by displaying information on the digital white board in front of the class.
"This is one big step in learning," said Geeter 6th grader Aria Harris, a student in the pilot class. "The tablet will help me feel more confident in telling the teacher my answers, and we can do so many things with this technology."
Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets offer students a variety of features, including the ability to send email, or search Internet information while taking notes using the onboard stylus. The tablet automatically converts hand written notes into printable type. Using the whiteboard, teachers can weave educational videos and Web sites into learning sessions.
Over the next year, a Samsung representative will visit Geeter every three weeks to watch and learn what can make the technology better, and determine how it will evolve.
Cleon Franklin, MCS director of instructional technology, said of the pilot program, "Samsung's 'Smart School Solution' is the perfect opportunity to nurture our students' growth through interactive technology, which helps teachers track individual progress and create dynamic lesson plans."