Interactive Whiteboards –TCTM 2.notebook
Awareness: I have used a SMARTBoard for almost 10 years now. I had one installed in my classroom in 2006. Like most things, I was so excited to have it installed in my room, but it only took a couple days to get annoyed with it. And this is where I agree with the statement that is so much more than the hardware. The standard installation with a projector is actually not that user friendly. You get blinded by the light, you make too many shadows, you don’t know where to stand…. I have used a promethean board a couple of times. I definitely like the touch over the pen. I find that the pen is not responsive enough and every board I have used the pen is not aligned correctly.

Explore & Filter: I tried to download the Promethean Board software ActivInspire three times and every time the download never finished. I would like to become more comfortable on the software if I could ever get used to the hardware. In our district, someone made the decision that K-8 would use SMARTBoards and 9-12 will use Promethean Boards. This does not lend to vertical collaboration of resources.

Learning: One good thing about being the DIT for the district is that I can make sure we don’t purchase anymore Promethean Boards. I don’t really see us purchasing too many more SMARTBoards either, especially for 7-12th. The Secondary curriculum and classroom setup doesn’t benefit from the touch features of a IWB. I think a 60-70” TV with a Tablet would work better for what they are used for in most classroom. Currently an IWB install runs around $6200, that’s a lot of money. The maintenance is killing the technology budget. Bulbs and projectors cost thousands each year. For my REM class, my research proposal was on the effectiveness of IWB on student achievement. From what I found, IWB do not improve student achievement. The teacher is still the most important variable.

Application: I created a Notebook file with all kinds of tools for teaching math. Most of the tools were included with the software. Two of the tools I created myself. I created a Math Board for teacher and students to work math problems on the SB. I used the infinite cloner tool (lets you make as many copy of an object as you want. When I taught math, I found writing math problems on the IWB difficult (too messy) and when I would let student come up to the board I saw the same thing. So I created a board that included the most commonly used math symbols and numbers so student and teachers could drag the parts of the problems in the box without having to open other tools in the software. SmartBoard Express to Open Attached file

Reflection: I have trained and presented about SMARTBoards. I know they can enhance any curriculum if used correctly. I don’t believe they are the best solution for schools on a limited budget. A large TV and a Tablet that allows the teacher to move around the room would be a better solution. If teachers are going to “move off stage” they need technology that doesn’t require them to be position at the front of the room. The SMARTBoard Slate is not a good solution.