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.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Happy OHS at Last

Come Friday, (why then I ask), just as everyone else is heading down for the weekly debrief, into my room come the technicians smiling broadly. "We think we've got it." was the chorus. Straight away they proceeded to unroll extensions and cabling and began moving desktops computers around the room. Soon we had whiteboard connections, well sort of. We could get the laptop to operate the board via the switch box but the desktop proved another matter altogether. A few minutes spent on the SMART site and we had the reason. It seems that the SMART Board is configured to work out of USB Port 1 only. A re-arrange of the cables and we had the desktop functioning too. Next for the big test, going via the switch box and doing a switch over.

This trial provided a really interesting outcome. With the laptop connected via the switch, we were able to get the green board indicator light on which meant it was receiving. The only problem was that the movements of the pen on the board didn't leave the normal pen impression. Instead the cursor on the desktop was careering around the screen mimicking the pen on the board. Whilst rather comical it was not quite the result expected. With a scratch of the head the techo mumbled something about another male-female cable and set off back to the office. Thirty minutes or so later, with everyone else having now gone home for the weekend, this extra cable proved the solution and we had a switching setup that enables us to move between a desktop and my laptop.

This was important because it meant that I could still do work on my laptop out of school and use it at will. It also meant that I then didn't have to worry about students inadvertently or otherwise accessing or changing material on my laptop. It also gave us a point from which children could then easily access their work to quickly show to the class.

Along the way I also had my laptop configured for the wireless setup that the school has just installed. This was good because it freed up a data point that the relocated desktop could now access.

Suggesting the use of a wireless keyboard with the board as has been suggested in some of the reading I have done, proved once again problematic. It seems that having a number of wireless devices such as keyboards in a school setup such as ours can lead to interference between devices. The suggestion was that it might cause more problems that it solved. As a result it looks like this idea is on the backburner.

Now all we need are the speakers set which look like they also require switching device. Ah well bit by bit we are getting things together. Thank goodness we haven't tried to do everything at once.


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