In this four-corner region rich with enchanted cultural adventures and history, Koogler Middle School, part of Aztec Municipal School District located in the northwest corner of New Mexico, serves grades sixth through eighth. With a very diverse student body, Koogler has an almost 700-student free-and-reduced lunch population—50 percent of its students. Committed to academic excellence and the incorporation of technology to improve student outcomes, the district’s technology mission states that they will provide innovative solutions in support of learning and teaching—and they have significantly improved technology resources at Koogler this past year.
Aztec is currently using ClassLink LaunchPad with 400 thin client computers to support this mission at Koogler Middle School with plans to expand district wide in the coming years. With LaunchPad all software is located and maintained in one central location so individual classrooms have easy, trouble-free access to all district approved software.
Nathan Holmes is the Technology Director at Aztec. He noted that at his previous job, which had a very similar IT environment, he had a staff of 36 compared to his current staff of four. “We need to make it easy for teachers to use technology and that is where LaunchPad excels,” says Holmes. “We obviously have a very limited technology budget. The addition of ClassLink LaunchPad, which supports less expensive thin client technology, allows us to greatly expand our technology in the classrooms at Koogler while at the same time reducing the amount of staff time needed for maintenance. But even more importantly, LaunchPad paves the way for many new student-centered learning opportunities in the classrooms at Koogler,” he says.
Patti Shaffer is a Middle School Teacher at Koogler Middle School in Aztec.”Seeing the change at Koogler Middle School as more and more students are absorbed in learning on computers is wonderful. LaunchPad makes it easy for teachers to differentiate instruction as needed and for students to use different software programs right in the classroom!” she says. “Not only is ClassLink perfect for the classroom, but students are able to access their school writing assignments and classroom projects from home using the same software available at school. How many students have Office 2010 at home? With ClassLink any student with access to a computer can work on school assignments from anywhere. How great is that!”
Victor Rivero tells the story of 21st-century education transformation. He is the editor-in-chief of Edtech Digest, a magazine about education transformed through technology. He has written white papers, articles and features for schools, nonprofits and companies in the education marketplace. Write to: victor@VictorRivero.com