The Merrillville AdvantageThe Merrillville School Corporation is at the cutting edge of educational technology. Computerized instruction, assessment and individual skills in the use of technology for information, research and communication are present on a daily basis in Merrillville classrooms.
MCSC has over 4500 computers (ratio of 1 PC to every 2 students) located throughout all of our buildings in classrooms, labs, offices and media centers.
- 24 computer labs at MHS and the Freshman Center
- 12 computer labs at Pierce
- 9 computer labs at MIS
- Elementary schools have 3 computer labs each except for Iddings which has 5.
MCSC operates 45 servers that provide applications and student folders for saving of their work.
Technology is used to assess, collect and analyze student data to diagnose student needs, analyze student performance, and report and display student achievement to prescribe instructional services to ensure student success and progress.We use computer based on-line testing for ISTEP+, iRead3, End-of-Course Assessments and Core40.We also use Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) software to measure, track and remediate reading skills for grades 2-12. This is part of a corporate wide emphasis on the improvement of reading abilities across all content areas. Read180 is another Scholastic Reading program used for struggling readers at grades 5-8.Fast ForWord by Scientific Learning is used at all of our schools to strengthen brain processing and literacy skills to increase reading proficiency in students of all ages. This product helps students improve vocabulary, reading comprehension, fluency, memory – and much more.Compass Learning Odyssey provides software for Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies for students in grades K-6.Plato software is used for Adult and Community Education.Acuity is used throughout the year to monitor our students' progress in the learning of Indiana Academic Standards that are assessed during ISTEP.
All classrooms have televisions connected to the teacher computers that are used to show instructional videos from our Safari Montage video server, provide access to cable TV and to also show students applications (PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) and internet pages from the teacher classroom computer.
High Tech Classroom Project:
During the summer of 2010, MCSC installed 4 student computer pods in every classroom from Grades 1-6. Software on these computer pods allows for both remediation and enrichment in all subject areas. In addition to the computer pods, we are also adding presentation and teaching software to create “Classrooms-of-the-Future” that includes document cameras, projectors, and remote control of the teacher PC that is shared to the class either on the TV screen or a projected image.One -to-One Computing: During the 2012-2013 school year, 28 classrooms (15 iPad classrooms, 13 laptop classrooms) were equipped with a cart of devices for student use throughout the day. See article in Northwest Indiana Times. We are currently researching the expansion of this initiative for school year 2013-2014.
Food Service Software: Students swipe their ID card at the cafeteria point of sale terminals to debit their pre-paid lunch balances. Parents can view their child's purchases and add money to the account via website. These same cards are also used in the media centers to check out books.
Merrillville Community Planetarium at Pierce Middle School is equipped with a domed ceiling and a special projector that projects stars on the dome, giving the audience the illusion of looking up at the night sky. Slides, movies, videos, special effects, lasers, special audio and a brand new digital presentation system are all used to present shows in the planetarium theater. Every student in Grades K-6 participates in multiple astronomy lessons every year at the Merrillville Planetarium.
MCSC uses an out-calling telephone system that allows daily absence reports, school closings and other time sensitive information to be relayed to all staff, students and parents at MCSC in less than an hour.
Award winning Pirate News Network (PNN) television production studio is located at the Freshman Center and involves students in the filming, producing, and editing of high definition video.
Teaching of foreign languages at MHS is assisted by 3 computer labs running Genesis software that allows collaboration between and within students and teachers and total control of all the computers by the teacher.
Electronic collaboration tools for students: Moodle and My Big Campus are being used by students to take an active part in classroom activities from home. This software allows collaboration with their teachers and fellow students in class discussions and provides electronic submitting of assignments. Moodle and My Big Campus features and encourages the use of Web2.0 applications in education such as wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, on-line forums, discussions groups and chat rooms in a teacher moderated, internet safe environment.
Students in grades K-8 experience a technology applied skills curriculum to ensure they receive the computer skills necessary to succeed in high school, college and the future workplace.
Training of our Teachers in Technology: Over 300 teacher registrations in the MCSC Summer Workshop Series in Technology provides continuing training in how to use new technologies in the classroom.MCSC teachers use electronic gradebooks in grades K-12. Teachers can access their gradebook from home or school.Parents can view their childrens grades, schedules, and attendance history using Parent Access. This software shows data in "real-time" and also allows payment of school fees via the internet.On-line calendar of events provides parents a way to subscribe to an up-to-date listing of school events and be automatically notified of events their children are involved in.
We fully embrace the role of the internet to provide supplemental and primary student and teacher resources both at school and at home. Merrillville provides a 90mb internet connection for access to educational websites. Approximately 80% of our students have home internet capability and we offer many options for students to further their learning away from the classroom.
Merrillville Schools continues its leadership role in education with the use of cutting edge technology to enhance instruction.Students and staff are able to take advantage of a myriad of technology resources on a daily basis that enhance their learning and truly make MCSC a school of choice for 21st Century Instruction.