Student + SMART Board = Enthusiasm
Students entering Janice Groseclose's eighth grade math class at Henderson Junior High School Thursday morning were all smiles when they saw the day's lesson would be taught using the new SMART Board recently installed.
The SMART Board by SMART Technologies is an interactive whiteboard that encompasses all learning styles and engages students in a way that keeps their hands up in the air hoping they will be next to go up and show their stuff.
The technology doesn't come cheap. According to Principal Bob Cervetto the entire setup costs $4,000 to $5,000 including a computer and LCD projector. The actual SMART Board is being purchased for $1,856. Cervetto said the school has six but hopes to increase that number to 14 in the near future.
“I think when this gets rolling it will be the only way to teach,” Cervetto said. “We're new to this and we're still exploring ways to use it but this is really capturing kids. They can see it, touch it, and hear it.”
Teachers can prepare their own lessons with PowerPoint presentations and download them to the SMART Board or they can use lessons provided by the company that are TEKS correlated.
Students can listen to the lesson in English and see the lesson printed in Spanish on the screen. And it's thought to be a real plus for students new to the English language. Other languages can also be accessed if needed.
The board has built in writing and erasing tools along with the built in audio system. Students can write answers on the board and with a wave of the hand remove a box to reveal the correct answer. That is just one example of many ways students are engaged with the board. Teachers and students have direct access to online content. A wireless electronic lapboard allows the teacher to write on the SMART Board from anywhere in the room or the lapboard can be passed to a student to work with.
“The students are motivated to use it,” Groseclose said. “They want to get up and use it and you have their full attention. It makes it fun to teach.”
ANGELIA JOINER is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-965-3124, ext. 238.