Mr P's SMART Board

One teacher's record of the implementation of a SMART Board Interactive whiteboard into a primary school classroom. For links see the Simply Science FURL. For science education try Simply Science site. For ICT check out My Other Blog. For one with the lot then go to my Suprglu archive.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Council Impressions

As the school has invested quite a significant amount of money in the SMART Boards it is always prudent to keep the School Council informed on the use of the infra-structure they authorise. With this in mind I was asked to attend and do a short 15 minute presentation for the Council Meeting tonight. It's amazing though how somehow time flies when you are having fun showing off. Some 30 minutes into the quarter hour slot I finally stopped talking long enough to take questions. Of course there was the question of durability as well as how the children enjoyed it. Interestingly there was a general reluctance by council members to actually come out and write on the board. Overall thought there were lots of smiling faces of approval from the council members as they left.

There was however also one very pertinent question asked by one member as he was leaving. He wondered if many of the things I had shown eg the interactives, Flash stories, some of the work and the like, could not have been done just as easily with a data projector and desk-top. In doing things this way we would be cutting out the cost, (at around $5000), of the boards. This of course would mean that we could then afford to put a data projector in almost all of the rooms instead of only the four boards.

In many ways he had a point, especially with some of the activities I had chosen to demonstrate. A quite valid argument could well be mounted in this way. In thinking on it later I did consider that maybe I had missed an opportunity to make a greater point perhaps because of the nature of the demonstration. The presentation was very static, me talking while they listened. This contrasts with the whiteboard teaching situations I have experienced so far have which have been more dynamic and involved with children as well as myself working via the board. Even with a projector the logistics of moving to and from the board are much easier and child friendly than doing the same via a desk top keyboard.

The more data projectors suggestion also didn't take into account the teacher position in the class and that the board allowed me to be in front of the class at all times. Thus I could take into account those often critical facial and other indicators of student engagement. (If we had only the desk-top computer to work from I would have been positioned behind the children.)

1 Comments:

Blogger Grant said...

Isn't it interesting that School Council were highly supportive, but not prepared to personally take "a risk" and have a go at using the Smartboard. Primary school age students are terrific explorers of new technology.

3:42 PM  

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