Palmer Trinity School – Technology Program

The Palmer Trinity School administration, staff and faculty take pride in being innovative educators. In 1999, the school introduced its Wireless 1-to-1 Laptop program, transitioned to Tablet PCs in 2008, and today uses Microsoft Surfaces to deliver the power of modern technology to every student from anywhere on the campus. Coupled with the technical skills gained through the daily application of computer technology, Palmer Trinity has made a conscious effort to provide our students with the proper tools and knowledge to thrive in a digital world with especial emphasis on how to be proper digital citizens.
 

A 1-to-1 computing program…

  • Provides flexibility, customization, and personalization, which enhance student motivation, morale, performance, efficiency, and effectiveness.
  • Aligns with today’s mobile society where anytime, anywhere learning is a reality through wireless global access points.
  • Supports collaborative learning, an ideal learning environment for students
  • Standardizes and improves efficiency and cost-effectiveness across campus, from training and use to maintenance.
  • Enables students to work wherever best meets their needs.
  • Provides more portability because battery life is now longer.
  • Facilitates the use of eBooks and textbooks.
  • Engages learners.
 

The TechZone:

The Information Technology Department (TechZone) supports the wireless network infrastructure and communications for Palmer Trinity School. The TechZone provides the support needed for the faculty and Staff to infuse the latest academic endeavors planned to enhance our student's success in an evolutionary world of technology.

Members of the technical support staff are Microsoft Certified specialists in their field, they keep the network and tablets up and running nearly 100 percent of the time. The Tech Zone staff members are always available on campus, and are on-call during school hours. As soon as a problem occurs in any location on campus, a call or visit to the Tech Zone results in a quick response.

The TechZone is located in Room 123 and our hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. For questions please call: (305) 259-1111 or email techzone@palmertrinity.org.

Why do we use The Microsoft Surface?

The idea of upgrading our Laptop Program to the Microsoft Surface is a notion that had been under consideration for a while. The concept of a portable unit that carries all the benefits of a laptop, with the ability to take handwriting notes is something that we felt can enhance the learning process. Palmer Trinity School is constantly analyzing ways to combine the technology experience with the curriculum and the mission statement of the school.

The MS Surface Pro creates a bridge between intimidating technology and technology used for effectively researching and communicating; allowing users to cross the bridge and enjoy a fun learning experience. A student able to handwrite to an electronic device will easily combine creativity with the flexibility of a digital device. The learning process through fun technology tools is more interesting; thus, enhancing information retention. The Surface fosters the active learner allowing a more natural interface between the user and the device. Handwriting to a Surface is like using a pen with infinite amount of ink, and unlimited paper; therefore, helping us protect our environment. Real multitasking takes place with the Surface Pro unit.

The MS surface processing power provides all the functionality of laptops, with the added capability to "write" on any electronic document. This unit is the natural evolution from laptops, as word-processing software was an evolution from the typewriter. With a Surface Pro, students can manipulate hand-written notes and drawings with the same kinds of electronic advantages that make word-processing better than typewriters. These advantages include ease in revising, moving things around, cutting and pasting, emailing, resizing, designing multiple variations, etc. In addition to annotation of any document, students can use the Surface’s unique notebook software that includes many capabilities not possible with paper-based note taking. These and other advantages are described in detail below, but fall into four general categories:
  1. Combines access to all resources in one convenient device
  2. Promotes collaboration, engagement, and interactivity
  3. Supports multiple learning styles.
  4. provides unique capabilities.

Additional Information

List of 3 items.

  • Can the School see what my child is doing on the Internet or email?

    Yes, Internet traffic within the school can be registered and monitored by our Technology Department. The students internet safety and productive technology experience is one of our main objectives.
  • How do I ensure to have internet safety at home?

    For more questions, please contact (305) 259-1111.
  • Is there any Web Content protection for internet communications within school premises?

    Yes, within school premises only, Web Content Management (WCM) is enabled. While there is no perfect Web Content system, Palmer Trinity School constantly endeavors to maintain a safe and productive technology experience. Users attempting to view or browse any restricted sites will be prompted with a warning message and the site will be immediately blocked. Every night our systems automatically download and update any new restricted websites/categories from a national content database. Although PTS Web-email communication is protected by the school, Palmer Trinity School does not monitor or control access to the Internet from home.

Why The MS Surface instead of laptops?

MS Surface:
  • Have all of the capabilities of a laptop, with the added capabilities of converting handwriting into text, or voice into text, through Office software, or saving graphic images, such as drawings, to a file. The Surface Pro’s pen can be used as a stylus, a pen with digital ink on the screen, or as a mouse. Students can hand-write on the screen using digital ink and have their notes appear as handwritten notes or convert them into text by using OneNote, Journal, or other software programs.
  • Allow for more creativity than a laptop. The stylus enables students to draw freehand to illustrate notes, create artwork, etc. with much greater precision.
  • Help students organize their notes effectively. Students can write/draw using the stylus, highlight notes in multiple colors in much the same fashion as traditional paper notes, and at the same time make notes searchable either as handwritten, or notes converted to text.
  • Support sophisticated electronic organization of all learning materials, with the use of Microsoft OneNote, by allowing students to search their notes, whether handwritten or typed, flag notes as being important or needing follow-up, record audio, integrate text and images into their notes, and email notebook pages.
  • Can be used as an interactive whiteboard through a Mini-Display Port or Wireless connection and an HD projector and further support collaboration, since the screen is not a visual or physical barrier between people.
  • Offer powerful collaborative and in-class possibilities. The Surface Pro expands the number of available opportunities for students to collaborate and learn in ways that suit them best, giving them confidence and helping them achieve their full potential.
  • Can function as an online digital textbook page that can be annotated by the student.
  • Allow handwriting to be converted to text without a “recognition training period.”
  • Improve interaction by allowing the easy exchange of notes and information among students and with teachers. Teachers can have students submit assignments electronically and correct them with handwritten comments in the same way they did using paper, or insert comments electronically in a manner that gives students and teachers a choice of pen-based or typed input. Students can create, highlight, categorize, and keep their notes in a variety of multimedia formats that are immediately available and searchable.
  • Allow for powerful projecting. Connected to a projector, the Surface Pro allows teachers to project, manipulate, and interact with whatever is on the screen. A Surface Pro and a projector can mimic some of the functions of a SMART Board.
  • Function as a portable language laboratory for listening and speaking assignments.
  • The MS Surface provides a way to supplement the development of spatial skills. One of the key components of success in advanced mathematics and science courses is strong spatial ability. The Surface offers opportunities to reinforce current teaching and learning with strategies specifically targeted toward activities that will give students more experience with spatial tasks.
  • Students learn best when working collaboratively and in cooperative learning groups. With laptops, the screen must be upright to be operational, often hiding the student’s head. But when used in the Tablet mode, the Surface allows collaboration without the visual and physical barrier of a screen (labeled the “wall effect” by professors at Purdue University). Because notes, drawings, and diagrams are inherent to the brainstorming and development process, being able to share and collaborate electronically on any document promotes this skill-set.
  • Possessing and using a computer builds confidence in technical ability. For students to compete equally on the technological playing field, they need multiple opportunities to build tenacity in technical problem solving, and to have more hands-on experience. Our ultimate goal is to create a program that provides our students with the experiences and the background they need to become world-class engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and experts in technology.
  • Personalizing and customizing the MS Surface facilitates the active acquisition of technology skills and improves morale and motivation. While collaborative learning is best for students overall, learning persistence at the individual level is best supported in a 1-to-1 environment where each student has their own computer. There is evidence to support that confidence and practice in persistence builds self-efficacy in students, which transition into a confidence in their technical skills.
7900 SW 176 Street, Miami, FL 33157
Tel: 305.251.2230 | Fax: 305.251.2917
An independent, college preparatory, co-ed, Episcopal day school serving a community of students grades 6-12.