Board members take instructional technology tour

Members of the Southern Westchester BOCES Board of Education recently took a close look at innovative examples of instructional technology in use at programs in Valhalla and Tarrytown.  

Director of Technology Victor Pineiro led the tour with Board President Catherine Draper and members Lynn Frazer-McBride, Georgia Riedel and Sheryl Brady.

At the Center for Career Services in Valhalla, they visited Cosmetology and Commercial Art classes. A student In the latter class demonstrated the use of Virtual Reality technology to produce graphic design projects.

Teacher Damian Powers talked about the various technology in use in the graphic arts field, including Augmented Reality in advertising. Mr. Powers said IKEA, as an example, has become a leader in Augmented Reality advertising, allowing customers to “bring” furniture featured in its online catalogue into their homes to see what it would look like in that space.

The technology, Mr. Powers said, is often used to create characters that can then be incorporated into a design, as some of his students have begun to do.

He said his students are “keeping up” with some of the latest available tools. “We are learning this together.”

As new technology is incorporated into the classroom, he and his students learn how to use it together.

The Board tour moved then to the Center for Special Services' Tappan Hill School, which houses programs for students with multiple disabilities as well as other programs. There, Board members witnessed a demonstration of the school’s new Lü Interactive Playground.

With this innovative and eye-catching tool, a system of projectors and speakers turns the gymnasium into an interactive digital learning space by projecting activities and lessons onto the gym wall. A 3-D camera turns the projection into a responsive touchscreen. That allows students and teachers to play games that support physical fitness, academic success social engagement.