With the press of a button, Kristy Pollak, a third-grade teacher in Stanwood Elementary School, immediately knows whether her students grasp the lesson she has just taught.
Her students are using hand-held devices that allow them to select answers to questions, giving Pollak instant feedback.
The technology is part of an instructional program that's been implemented throughout the elementary schools in Hempfield Area School District.
"It's really teaching for the 21st century," Pollak said.
Mimio Interactive Teaching Technologies is allowing students to drive education, teachers say.
"It's just revolutionized what's going on in those rooms," said Dr. Barbara Marin, assistant superintendent for elementary education.
Mimio technology has transformed an ordinary whiteboard into an interactive screen that can display images from a computer or projector, enabling the teacher to present interactive lessons.
Students are more comfortable with the technology than teachers, Marin said.
"Our children are not the same children we had 20 years ago," she said.
Mimio transforms the traditional classroom into a room filled with motion. A teacher can stand anywhere in the room while she writes on an electronic tablet, allowing her words to appear on the screen. A special pen allows students to capture their notes or solutions to problems.
Students take turns in front of the classroom working on problems in math and language arts.
"This makes learning all come to life," Marin continued. "For children, this comes naturally."
Audrey Dell, the principal of West Point Elementary, regularly observes teachers at work using the technology.
"Through every observation, I see that teachers have learned something new and are trying it," she said. "The attention and engagement would convince anybody this is a much better way to learn. The amount of collaboration among teachers has never been so great in incorporating the technology into the instruction. …