What is the "Smart Classroom" project and how did this come about?


The passage of the technology bond in February 2005 was essential to the goals of the Technology Plan and of the District as a whole.  The community support of the recent bond proposal has allowed the District to design the future of educational technology at Mona Shores for the next 3 to 5 years and beyond.


In Year Two, 2006-2007, one of the more exciting projects included in the bond is the implementation of "Smart Classrooms" in every one of the District's classrooms, 211 classrooms in all!  In Year One, 2005-2006, the District has created a model classroom in each of the six school buildings hence the realization of the "Smart Classroom" project. 


One important issue for all schools is that technology is changing at a rate too fast to keep up with. Schools struggle to find the funds to deal with computers that go out of date every two or three years. In partnership with various educational technology vendors, Mona Shores Public Schools plans to develop a 21st Century "Smart Classroom" that uses a realistic approach to selecting sustainable technology solutions that yield big results.  The "Smart Classroom" has the possibilities of dramatically improving the instructional delivery process and engaging the student in their learning experience.



What do you mean by "yield big results?"


Technology is only a wise investment if it changes something about the way students learn, opens new doors and possibilities, or helps engage them in their learning experiences. We get excited when we see students engaged in research projects, visual learning, collaborative groups, authentic learning projects, problem-solving and dynamic discussions.  If technology is used to help make those effective classroom practices happen, then technology is being used well. Keep in mind, we can have all of these wonderful technologies but at the heart of it all is an effective classroom teacher!



What is the purpose of setting up a "Smart Classroom" model?


The purpose of developing this model is to observe and document the kinds of changes that are possible when technology tools are employed to enhance the learning experiences of the students. 


  • To develop a learning environment that utilizes technology that will enhance research-based instructional strategies
  • To develop the skills and confidence in teachers to use technology to change their students' learning experiences
  • To document the successes and challenges of technology integration with research-based instructional strategies
  • To document and disseminate information about the observed changes in the teacher, students and learning environment
  • To identify the most valued technology solutions in a classroom and develop the classroom model for implementation in the remaining classrooms throughout the district.

What research will be used as a basis for the "Smart Classroom" Project?


Researchers at Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (MCREL) have conducted a meta-analysis of the research on instructional strategies used in K-12 classrooms. In the book entitled "Classroom Instruction That Works" (2001), Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering and Jane Pollock identify the nine instructional strategies that have a strong effect on student achievement. This research project, along with these nine strategies, will serve as the "anchor-point" for implementing "Smart Classrooms" in the school district.



Who was involved at Mona Shores developing the pilot model?


Six K-12 classroom teachers were selected to develop a replicable classroom model of technology integration that is sustainable and that supports research-based instructional strategies through the careful selection of technology tools, the provision of technology-related professional development, and through ongoing support and collaboration.


The six teachers who participated in this project include:

  • Kristin Cornish, Middle School, Room 34, Grade 6 (Language Arts)
  • Jeremy Miller, High School, Room 311, Grades 9-12 (Social Studies)
  • Jeff VanDyke, Campbell Elementary, Room 19, Grade 4 (All subjects)
  • Nancy Grigsby, Churchill Elementary, Room 10, Grade 3 (All subjects)
  • Beth Paparella, Lincoln Park Elementary, Room 3, Multi-Age (All subjects)
  • Sue Young, Ross Park Elementary, Room 26, Grade 4 (All subjects)
  • Administration Building, Room 21 (Test Room)

What equipment/systems will be placed in all 211 classrooms?


Each participating teacher will have the following technology solutions implemented in their classroom:

  • Epson 82c 2000 ANSI lumens XGA projector (Ceiling Mounted)
  • Avermedia Avervision 300P document camera
  • Classroom audio system (TeachLogic) with wireless collar microphone and mounted (Audix) speakers. Two per room.
  • Samsung DVD/VCR/CD Player
  • Draper 8’ X 6’ screen
  • Dell Optiplex GX520 Computer with 17” Flat Panel monitor
  • Cable TV Access (CATV)
  • Custom designed rolling presentation cart (Izzy Design , Spring Lake, MI)
  • Extron MPS 112 for switching and routing of audio and video. Provides for simple one button selection of video source
  • Crestron QM-RMC for control and programming
  • Extend DVS-12 VGA video splitter for computer VGA source
  • Netgear FS105 5-Port Switch
  • BenQ remote mouse
  • System for district wide management of the system via the network (Crestron RoomView)
  • Software applications for instructional delivery
  • The cart has extra cables on top for auxiliary s-video with audio and laptop VGA with audio  

 What was the project timeline?


  • Formulate a vision for the “Smart Classroom”
  • Pass technology bond in February, 2005
  • Review the technology available for presentation technology in classrooms
  • Design/Install the (7) pilot classrooms for the 2005-2006 school year
  • Prepare RFP and select vendor for 211 classroom installations
  • Install in 211 classrooms over the Summer of 2006
  • Rollout to staff in the Fall of 2006

 What was the cost of the project?


  • Roughly $1.5 million for the whole project
  • Budgeted $8,000 per classroom

 What vendor was selected for the project implementation?


Central InterConnect was the main vendor but many other vendors were involved in the installation.


Central InterConnect, Inc

1425 Coit Avenue NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49505

(616) 458-2999

Project Manager: Greg Whelage


What professional development was provided for teachers?



  • To define the nine instructional strategies in "Classroom Instruction That Works" and how technology enhances the use of those strategies
  • To provide teachers with guidance in digitizing existing curricular materials for use with the Smart Classrooms
  • To collaborate on a shared network of resources suited for use with Smart Classroom technologies


Training will be provided in various formats to meet the needs of teachers.  Such formats may include, face-to-face workshops, summer tech camps, and blended learning.


  • Pilot project teachers received extensive training during the 2005-2006 school year, roughly 20 hours or more
  • In the Fall, 2006 all 225 teachers attended a 1-hour introduction to the “Smart Classroom”
  • The district is currently developing some online modules for more training opportunities
  • The Media Specialists will been conducting building training within their building



Additional supporting documents or websites:

Marzano - "What Works in Schools" Findings from the research on the effect of individual teachers

Advancing the science of classroom instruction: http://www.mcrel.org/topics/topics.asp?topicsid=6

Classroom Instruction That Works (Nine strategies again, with examples): Technology that Supports Instructional Strategies






Who can I contact for further information?

Lane White Jr., Director of Technology

Mona Shores Public Schools

3374 McCracken Street

Muskegon, MI 49441

Phone: 231.780.4751 Ext. 8234

E-Mail: lwhite@monashores.net



Marzano, R., Pickering, D., & Pollock, J. (2001). Classroom Instruction that Works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Marzano, Norford, Paynter, Pickering, Gaddy. (2001). A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Tschirgi, Debbie, Director of Educational Technology Programs, Educational Service District 112, Vancouver, WA