The Peabody Education Foundation unveiled and donated seven Smart Carts this week to the Higgins Middle School.  The presentation of the carts was made to an audience of students, faculty, Peabody Education Foundation members, and Smart Cart donors. A Smart Cart is a fully mobile audio-visual unit equipped with a laptop, projector, digital document camera, and wireless tablet. The carts also have speakers, a docking station for media players such as iPods, and a built-in power outlet for all devices. The unveiling event, which took place in the Higgins library, offered the individuals who donated funds towards purchasing the carts a chance to see their contributions in action. Warren Waugh of Lyon-Waugh Auto Group and Arthur Holden of the Northeast Massachusetts Economic Development Corporation were present; representatives from Su Chang’s Restaurant and Analogic Corporation were unable to attend but were recognized for their gifts to the PEF.

Sudi Smoller, a PEF member and the Higgins Librarian/Media Specialist, gave a brief overview of the carts before introducing Mike Bowler,  a 6th grade math teacher for the Penguins cluster. Mr. Bowler demonstrated how he uses the technology on the carts – such as the document camera and the laptop – in his lessons. Students from one of his math classes assisted with the presentation by projecting their work via the Elmo brand document camera. Mr. Bowler also showed how an iPad can be connected to the cart’s projector to display its applications and programs to an entire class. Following Mr. Bowler’s demonstration, Mrs. Smoller further illustrated the uses of the document camera and PEF member Katrina Gravel showed off the wireless tablet, which can be used to control the computer and “write” on the screen from anywhere within the computer’s range. Interim Superintendent Dr. Herbert Levine, Higgins principal Todd Bucey, and City Councilor/PEF Chairperson Dave Gravel addressed the audience as well, thanking both the PEF and the Smart Cart donors for making a positive and valuable contribution to the school.

The Peabody Education Foundation would like to thank Lyon-Waugh Auto Group, Northeast Massachusetts Development Corporation, Su-Chang’s Restaurant, and Analogic Corporation for making the purchase of these Smart Carts possible. The PEF truly appreciates the efforts of these business leaders to improve the schools and provide Peabody’s students with technology to help them succeed.