Drayton Hall Elementary leads the way for successful technology implementation in classrooms

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCBD) — Located near the historic plantations off of Highway 61, Drayton Hall Elementary is leading the way when it comes to using technology to enhance learning in the classroom. We’re in West Ashley for our Cool School of the week.

Drayton Hall Elementary has become the model for successfully implementing technology in the classroom. Principal Brian Agnew says, “We have Apple TV. We have a green screens, and basically with the variety of apps, we have teachers who can virtually go paperless when it comes to tests and that type of thing. We’re a demonstration school for other schools trying to implement iPads and other technology in their schools. We’ve got folks who come from all over the world and recently had some principals from Oklahoma wanted to come to visit our school.”

DHES piloted Charleston County School District’s one to one iPad learning initiative, which is now used in other schools as well. “We’ve been on the forefront of this as far as the state goes. We have some very innovative educators, so we’ve taken the iPads and all of the technology to move forward and show the kids, the district, state, show the country some unique ways to use iPads, to have the kids be able to create different end products to show what they know in unique ways,” says Agnew.
Even the five years old are learning code. Computer teacher Lisa Bevans says,

“We do code, where we extend it and we do it for a couple of weeks each quarter, even our kindergartners using cod able apps, learning how to code things.” Fifth-grade student Gracelyn Davis says, “I like the technology because when we do things like projects on our iPad, we can make it more fun. We can add pictures and videos, and it’s easier because our teachers can display on Apple TV in the classroom.”

Technology is used to support the arts. Music teacher Allen Benson says, “It’s technology all the way. This is based on MITTI run through the iPads and my iMac. MITTI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. Everything comes from the computer, all the sounds.”

Drayton Hall has been named an Apple Distinguished School by the Apple Corporation since 2012, the only elementary school in South Carolina to receive this honor. The school also has an Apple Distinguished Educator, kindergarten teacher Kristi Meeuwse. She says, “They create books. They create movies. They create other products that we can’t do without the iPad. We use the Apple TV to be able to share student work. I can share things from my Mac book or my iPad. Students can share their work.” Meeuwse says, “We’re able to use cutting edge slash bleeding edge technology if you will through the iPads. Students are really creating their own learning, they’re not just consuming content. So even at five-years-old, my students are able to create authentic learning products for the world.”

The Apple Distinguished School award honor is earned by schools that demonstrate Apples’ vision of exemplary learning environments for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we’ll present Drayton Hall with our Cool School award.

We want to hear about the good things that are going on at your school, just send an email to Octavia at omitchell@wcbd.com.

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