Cherokee County School District Uses Headsets Across the Curriculum

Case Study:
Cherokee County School District
Canton, Georgia

It is estimated that K-12 instructional software sales reached around $1.8 billion last year, illustrating the growing interest in using software in the classroom as a teaching and learning tool. Many of the original educational applications have undergone a metamorphosis, requiring student participation and interaction, not that they just watch and learn.

Like many districts nationwide, Cherokee County School District in Canton, Ga., understands these changes and works to incorporate technology that will support the needs of modern software. Comprised of 39 schools, and serving more than 37,000 students in an area outside of Atlanta, the district is challenged with educating students in the 21st fastest-growing county in the nation.

"More and more of the applications we use in our district call for interaction from students, working to create 21st century learners," said Bobby Blount, Director of Technology Services for the district. "These programs include software for active language learning, foreign language activities, remediation, special needs students, and supplemental programs that have speech-based components."

As an example, the district uses software from Rosetta Stone for both student interaction and professional development for teachers. "We believe that we are better preparing our students to live in a global society by using programs like Rosetta Stone, and we need quality technology-both computers and headsets-for our students and teachers to learn efficiently," Blount said. Having recently implemented another math and reading program, Pearson?s SuccessMaker® Enterprise, the district needed to purchase new headsets.

Working with the district to implement the program, Pearson sent an engineer out to test several available brands of headset brands for Blount and his team. "We tested each brand and found that the Califone Deluxe Multimedia Stereo Headset held up well in classrooms. In addition, the price point was appropriate, and the Califone 3066AV headset worked well with the program," Blount explained.

The Deluxe Multimedia Stereo Headset is designed for learning in today?s classrooms. The compact and adjustable headset is ideal for language learning activities and tutorials in the computer lab. In addition, it works well for distance learning as the microphone allows for high-quality VOIP conversations.

In deploying the new technology across the district for the 2008-2009 school year, Blount and his team worked to install headsets in classrooms that use the Pearson program and foreign language software first. The headsets will be stored in the classroom along side the mandatory five computers per classroom in K-8, in some of the computer labs, and on mobile carts that store laptops for student use.

In addition to Rosetta Stone and the Pearson program, the district is implementing the headsets with other applications, including software for special needs students, ESOL programs, and in language labs for AP foreign language classes.

Teachers storing the headsets in several ways, such as fastening them to the top of each monitor with a hook and loop system, or hanging them on the side of the monitor for easy student access.

"We have encouraged all of our staff to spend two minutes explaining to their students how best to use the headsets so they remain viable for classroom use for a long time," Blount said. "We want these to be around for awhile for use with our new software programs, and for future uses like podcasting and in our broadcasting classes."

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