The Tuckahoe School’s technology program is being recognized by Microsoft as one of the top programs in the world, district officials announced this week.Tuckahoe is one of 150 schools in 75 countries to be named a “Showcase School” by the Microsoft Corporation, which has provided tablets to the district. In an announcement last week, Anthony Salcito, vice president of the worldwide public education sector for Microsoft, applauded the winners.
“I personally commend you and your team for your excellence in transforming your learning environment to deliver more personalized education to the students, using mobile and cloud technology to better prepare students for success in the workplace,” Mr. Salcito said in a statement to the Tuckahoe administration.
Tuckahoe has been utilizing Microsoft Surface Pro tablets in the classroom and at home for almost two years to create a more interactive education experience for students. While many schools on Long Island are moving toward similar programs, officials at Microsoft have applauded Tuckahoe for being ahead of the curve and a successful model for other districts to mimic.
The tablets were introduced in the district in February 2013 after more than a year of planning and negotiating with Microsoft. In total, the district has 176 devices, including 75 Microsoft Surface Pros, 3 Surface Pro IIs and 85 Microsoft Pro IIIs. The devices are distributed among all the students and staff, with younger students using LeapPads and older students getting the more advanced tablets.
The devices include touchscreens and offer the option of using a pen to write. Information can be shared between the devices and smartboards in the classroom, as well as to communicate within the district’s network.
School officials have said they decided to purchase tablets instead of new desktops in order to keep up with the State Education Department’s new requirement that all students must take state tests, such as Regents, digitally by the 2014-15 school year.
And this is not the first time the Tuckahoe program has been recognized. Last year, two of the district technology teachers were asked to present highlights of the program at a Microsoft conference. The Tuckahoe School District was featured in a commercial used at international technology events, and earlier this fall a group of 21 South Korean school officials visited Tuckahoe to research the best ways to implement the technology in South Korea.