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Wilkinson County Schools use 360 whiteboards to get students more engaged

3rd - 12th grade math classes have 14 whiteboards around the room aimed to get students more active

WILKINSON COUNTY, Ga. — Wilkinson County Schools’ new 360 ̊ whiteboard classrooms allow students to write on the board, without getting in trouble.

Wilkinson County High School Freshman Samantha Santoro looks forward to her math class now that she can work the problems out on the whiteboard.

"Before, we would just use paper, and we would sit at our desks, and I wasn't doing so good," Santoro said. "We all had this one question that we had to do, which was a very multi-step problem, and it took up all the space on the board."

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Each math class starting from third through 12th grade has 14 whiteboards around the classroom. 

It's a first for Janelle Clark, who's taught at the high school for four years.

"At the whiteboards, 360 means simply I can stand here at my class, look around and see okay quickly, either they got it, don't have it or I need to do something different," Clark said.

Michelle Ransom, the county's Instructional Support Specialist, says it helps teachers quickly spot struggling students.

"The teacher can stand around the middle of the classroom and look around all four walls and get an idea of how their students are doing in just a quick glance," Ransom said.

The ultimate goal is to get students more involved in class.

"We are looking forward to seeing an increase of test scores and not just an increase of engagement. We are excited that our students are more active in the math classroom," Ransom said.

It's a relatively low cost for high achievement.

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"Each whiteboard was around $60 and we have around 14 for each classroom," Ransom said.

Ransom says the money for the whiteboards came from a $5 million school improvement grant they got in 2018.

For now, they plan to keep the whiteboards in the math classrooms, but Ransom says they really could be used with any subject.