St. Lucie School District Responds to Educational Challenges with Innovation And Technology Solutions From Panasonic.

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1 St. Lucie School District Responds to Educational Challenges with Innovation And Technology Solutions From Panasonic. Today's schools face unprecedented challenges, a third of students fail to complete high school and another third graduate but are ill-prepared for college or well-paying jobs. Local communities as well as society are dependent upon an educated population and are seeking to dramatically improve schools and some school districts are taking the lead to respond to this challenge A perfect case in point is the St. Lucie School District in St. Lucie, Florida. Located on Florida s treasure coast, St. Lucie has been experiencing rapid growth in addition to the many challenges facing the nation's schools. "A school system on the rise with a community on the rise," is how Michael Lannon, Superintendent for St. Lucie County Public Schools refers to the situation rightfully placing the emphasis on the importance of the school system s role in stimulating area growth and quality of life by preparing all its students to succeed in the new economy. One of the most significant initiatives undertaken by the School Board and the Superintendent aimed at achieving such high aspirations is centered around the deployment of advanced learning systems and technologies provided by Panasonic Systems Integration and its partners. The St. Lucie County Public Schools administration clearly recognizes the magnitude of our responsibility to the future of this community. We have pledged a partnership with our devoted school board members, parents, and community leaders to work harder and smarter for every child every day, said Mr. Lannon. St. Lucie County is truly a convergence of collaboration that understands that a top quality educational system is a strategic component in the blueprint for success. Our primary goal is to continue a 1

2 sustainable increase in achievement for students in our classrooms as measured by standardized testing and the everyday engagement of our students. The results speak for themselves as St. Lucie County Public Schools students outperformed their peers nationwide from 11 to 21 percentile points on national testing a first for the district! The School Board expects this year s results to show even further improvements in scores. One of the drivers behind St. Lucie County Public Schools continuous academic improvement is their understanding that cutting edge technology is not just a luxury, but an essential learning tool. The Leadership Team of School Board and Superintendent is committed to taking education from textbooks to technology and is supported by a strategic alliance with Panasonic to make the district the new model for education and school design. Several leading suppliers of education technology based systems participated in the initial quest to become the technology partner according to Mr. Lannon, but after multiple reviews, Panasonic demonstrated a keen understanding of the district s needs based on providing tailored solutions versus just equipment. A team of systems specialists from Panasonic Systems Integration worked closely with Superintendent Lannon, the Board and a cross section of faculty and staff to formulate a technology plan. During the process, Panasonic stretched the district s technology budget by integrating existing products and systems with new solutions from Panasonic. The goal of the technology plan is to expand access to quality instruction and resources, to be user friendly and to support new approaches to teaching Panasonic proposed a very unique approach with their technology plan and established the platform for a new kind of relationship, said Mr. Lannon. They came in with the attitude that they didn t have to recommend a Panasonic product for any given solution, but the right product. They also offered to help acquire products from other suppliers. When you consider the purchasing power and resources of Panasonic, this made perfect sense. This formed a true partnership rather than a client-vendor relationship. That s how we ended up in a close relationship with Audio Enhancement 2

3 the industry s leading supplier of enhanced learning audio systems for the classroom and a Panasonic partner. This helped us get sound technology, such as student and teacher microphones, into classrooms that were also enhanced with lighting, document cameras, LCD projectors and laptops from Panasonic. We wanted to break the mold used to build schools by making technology a design influencer so that instruction would drive construction, and not the other way around. St. Lucie County Public Schools desire to combine form and function became the guiding principle when designing systems for both new and existing schools. Without any existing models to follow that placed such a comprehensive emphasis on technology, the team had to invent one. Working closely with Panasonic, the team was able to develop a comprehensive technology plan that met the present and future needs of the school system. With 42 schools housing nearly 2,500 classrooms, the systems would have to be both flexible, yet consistent across the St. Lucie County Public School district. We also wanted parents to be assured that their children would benefit from these new technologies, regardless of which school in the district they attended new or old because the technologies would be the same, continued Mr. Lannon. Our school board did a wonderful job of explaining the benefits of the expense to the constituents and parents and it passed budget approval without a hitch. The Panasonic technology solution was instrumental in this overall endeavor. Panasonic s technology solution for the St. Lucie County Public School district is designed to easily convey instructional content while enhancing the education experience across the K-12 spectrum. The fully integrated solution for the classroom employs a combination of audio-video and computer technologies operating on a single user-interface platform. The wide selection of Panasonic products deployed for these unique classroom systems include Panasonic Toughbook laptop computers, video recorders and DVD/CD players, scanners, professional video surveillance cameras (used as document cameras), white boards, laser printers, video projection systems, 3

4 network/av controllers, and enhanced learning audio systems from Audio Enhancement. Panasonic Toughbook laptop computers, DVD/CD players, professional video camcorders, projection systems and plasma displays are also used throughout the schools offices, media centers, labs and video production centers. Additional equipment such as desktop computers, IT devices and accessories were purchased for the St. Lucie County Public School district. On the horizon is wireless switching and streaming high-definition content. Today s students come to us with ever increasing levels of confidence and expectations for technology. They re helping us drive the technology integration. They re also one of the greatest sources for teachers who feel more and more comfortable giving up some authority to a youngster who happens to know how to use electronics that they don t. Students become a ready source of expertise if a problem arises or another student needs assistance; which in turn increases their self confidence further and causes them to be even more engaged learners, said Mr. Lannon. It s helping break down barriers and kids now attend classes knowing that school won t be the lowest tech place they spend any time of their day. This is the situation throughout most school districts in America, but increasingly not so in St. Lucie County s Schools. The District School Board for the St. Lucie County Public Schools believes that as we increase engagement for children, we can build their academic success and achievement, said Board Chairperson Carol Hilson. Our partnership with Panasonic and their contribution to our technology solution is providing a great source of engagement that supplements our faculty s efforts. The Panasonic technology implementation will be fully operational in over 1800 classrooms by summer 2008 and completed district-wide during the school year. 4

5 We are designing schools for today s culture and the future, and we are extremely pleased to have Panasonic as our partner throughout the entire process. concluded Superintendent Lannon. XXX Side Bar: Quotes from Lakewood Park Elementary School, 5 th grade The new technology is very great, because it makes it easier for all of us to learn. All of the students can use the microphone that way the teacher does not have to get up and go right next to the student to hear them speak. Every class should have a CAV system Thank you for the new technology. Now it is fun and cool to do work. I really like the new technology, it is great because it can get kids attention and we are learning faster. Also I think that it is better than the chalk board. I love the new technology in our class. I think it s really cool. I like the microphone because our teacher doesn t have to yell anymore. I think the new technology is great for us. If more schools start to get this new technology, schools would be much much better. Kids would probably go to school more often. 5

6 Photo Captions: PS St. Lucie 1: David Jasa, Director of Management Information Systems, St. Lucie County Public Schools PS St. Lucie 2: Terence O'Leary, Assistant Superintendent of Information & Instructional Technology, St. Lucie County Public Schools PS St. Lucie 3 St. Lucie County Public School has employed a fully integrated technology solution from Panasonic to supplement classroom instruction and activities. PS St. Lucie 4 Panasonic projection systems are deployed in virtually every classroom at St. Lucie County Public Schools to provide students with a clear view of instructional material from numerous AV sources. PS St. Lucie 5: Enhanced learning systems from Panasonic allow instructors to speak in normal voice tones and facilitate teacher-student and student-student exchanges at optimal listening volumes. PS St. Lucie 6: Innovative teacher and student wireless microphones from Panasonic facilitate better communications and allow the teacher to remotely control the volume of all integrated AV sources with disrupting classroom activities. PS St. Lucie 7 &8: St. Lucie County Public Schools has installed video production that provides hands on experience and higher level of understanding the communications process. PS St. Lucie : Panasonic Plasmas are located through out the St. Lucie County Public Schools providing a wide area communications network. PS St. Lucie 12: Panasonic Plasmas are deployed in sporting venues to provide spectators with information and video of events. 6

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