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School system, SAFARI Montage partnership wins techn award
Left to right: Craig Dinn, NCSS network engineer, Melissa Jackson, NCSS instructional technology coordinator, and Gary Shattuck, NCSS director of technology.

If you’re looking for a globally leading technology partnership, your search doesn’t need to go farther than Newton County limits.

Newton County School System (NCSS) and SAFARI Montage were awarded the 2014 Leading Impact Gold Award from the IMS Global Learning Impact Leadership Institute. The annual award recognizes the district’s outstanding achievement using VIEWPath classroom technology systems to increase teacher effectiveness, decrease student misbehavior and provide students with access to lessons from home.

“It is quite an accomplishment to be selected for this prestigious award,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “To be chosen from 700 international nominations speaks volumes about the impact this tool has had on instructional effectiveness and school safety. Our school system has served as an example for other districts throughout the state and nation.”

The IMS Global Learning Impact awards recognize the most powerful and influential uses of technology worldwide that address the most significant challenges facing the global education segment. Winners are selected by a panel of experts who use a series of rubrics to evaluate eight dimensions for improving teaching and learning impact, including improving access, affordability and quality of learning, according to a NCSS press release.

SAFARI Montage provides K-12 school districts with a fully integrated digital learning platform, including a learning object repository, video streaming library, IPTV and live media streaming, designed to handle video efficiently.

The solution is IMS Global interoperability systems. The full suite of integrated modules provides a single interface for users to access and manage all digital, visual resources from within the school district network or from home.

“We have been thrilled with the educational benefits we have received using the VIEWPath System, which includes the SAFARI Montage learning object repository,” said Gary Shattuck, director of technology and media services at NCSS. “We are increasing teachers’ effectiveness through self-reflection and peer coaching.

“In addition, after controlling other variables, our discipline referrals dropped 18 percent, and our test scores are increasing significantly. We believe that the VIEWPath system is a game-changer for education.”

The VIEWPath systems, which consist of the SAFARI Montage platform coupled with the audio enhancement’s voice amplification tools, silent alarms and classroom cameras, were implemented in 552 classrooms throughout NCSS schools in September 2013, following a successful pilot the previous year.

Since the district-wide launch, NCSS teachers and administrators have been effectively using the system to manage student behavior, record classroom activities and create digital resources to support blended learning and professional development, the press release said.

“As we continue to strive to be the best for our students, families and community,” Fuhrey said, “our goal is to continue installation and implementation in all of our elementary schools over the next year and a half.”