At the Ocoee (Fla.) Middle School, the student's ability to see and hear the teacher's voice was a crucial part of the original classroom design. The school recently equipped each classroom with an audio enhancement system. With the system, each teacher wears a wireless microphone and transmitter, and a built-in amplification system broadcasts their voice 10 to 12 decibels above the normal classroom din. In addition, each classroom has a ceiling-mounted LCD projector, which produces larger images than those from the average classroom TV monitor.
But aside from catering to the senses, Ocoee is also one of four pilot sites in the nation for the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF), an industry initiative to develop an open specification for instructional and administrative software applications in K-12 education. With this technology at Ocoee Middle School, not only do student ID cards give students access to the school building's keyless entry, they track library checkouts and cafeteria purchases, all of which are automatically noted in a school-wide student information database.
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