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Are smart boards the norm in schools now? - Page 2

post #21 of 100
Somedays when I read threads like this, I start to feel pretty old....the thoughts of "well in my day......." which isn't all that long ago, mind you. But really, there is a noticeable difference in quality of work at the university level....Seems like the over-30's turn in beautiful essays, take notes well, etc. The younger gen seems to lack the skills I see in the older ones. This is just in general though, not true for all. I wonder sometimes how much is lost when machines "do it all" for you....and how mesmerized a sixth grader was in my office recently when I showed her how to divide numbers....they use the calculator. It drives me nuts when there's news articles about how impoverished some elementary school is..."they have only 5 computers for the whole school to use!!!". Somehow all us old farts learned without them, and we weren't "impoverished"
post #22 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlprof View Post
I sort of doubt kids are taking notes in KG. But I'm still shocked at the prevalence of these "smart boards" which I had never heard of.

Let me tell you, in our school, I have never seen one. I suspect the overwhelming response here is either because people with smart boards are the ones reading the thread or because the MDC community is well above average in terms of income levels and therefore the kids here mostly attend schools in well-off school systems.
I read all the posts up to this one and had to respond. Although we live in a decent school district my kids do not got to well off schools. We actually live in one of the lowest socio-economic areas of the city but love the diversity. We wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the city. All the smart boards in the middle school are because the teachers want to provide opportunities to the students and write grant after grant for the kids. My kid may not be able to wear red shoe laces to school but he is getting a good eduacation with exceptionally caring teachers.
post #23 of 100
When I was pregnant, I worked as a computer teacher at an elementary school. Almost all the rooms had Smart Boards- and around 70% of the school received free or subsidized lunch- so that could give an idea of the income levels.

I don't know what the teachers did with them, but I found them very helpful. If the students were using the computers to type up a paper and I had to show them how to save, I just hooked my computer up to the smart board and showed them File --> Save As --> Find your teacher's file to save it in --> name your paper --> click save. The students could see my mouse pointer and see exactly where I was typing and clicking so they could do it themselves. It cut back on some of the confusion of how to save. I also used it to show HOW to add pictures, text, etc., to projects, powerpoints. I could show them how to type formulas into a spreadsheet. It gave them a visual and while there were still students who had a hard time following, I think it helped a lot of others who needed that visual help.
post #24 of 100
I work in a Title 1 school that was recently awarded a technology grant that includes SMART boards. I am excited to bring more technology into my classroom ( 6-8) in terms of video field-trips, interactive math games, word processing skills, etc. My students are AVID students and will most definitely still take notes, turn in written HW and other 'traditional' tasks. They will also be better prepared to learn with peers in HS who have been using technology for much longer than they have.
post #25 of 100
Our school district had just budgeted last year for all the elem class rooms to have smart boards. Our school district is weird--high COL, white collar, but the tax base is primarily residential, and not so many businesses. You'd better believe that our county officials are courting businesses, b/c our population is rising very quickly.

However, we had to cut like 10 percent of the district budget this year. I was livid that they still had the smart boards on the list--that is a nice thing, and a good, educational thing, but it's not a necessity. It is tragic that they have cut the music program in this county (not completely) but their first thought wasn't to cut the smart boards (they have now).
post #26 of 100
I LOVE my SmartBoard. LOVE. I teach middle school science and math and I've used it with 3rd-5th graders too. It was attained through a grant, as is often the case with pricey tech stuff like that (so don't automatically assume the school spent tons of money on them). I use it all the time for interactive math lessons, as a screen for showing videos and presentations, as a way to save all the things I write on the board for when kids are absent or if I don't have enough time to finish in one class. I've never seen them used in K, but I'm sure there are a million things to do with them there too. But if the teachers aren't getting professional development on using these new tools then they probably won't make the most of them. Remember, though, that technology tools like this do NOT replace basic skills that are important for kids' learning, especially when you consider that our children are digital natives. That is, they are more comfortable acquiring information through all different types of digital media than most adults are. The skills that are neccessary to be productive in society today are different than they were just a short time ago. And that is ok! Spending less time gathering information because of instant access allows more time for processing and using that information.
post #27 of 100
The school my daughters go to does have a smart board in every classroom. The PTA holds an auction each year and the school community tends to be very generous--last year they raised about 20,000 in one evening. They saved these funds until they had those necessary and provided the smart boards--they have also helped to fund a technology person in the building. The teachers use them a lot during math to demonstrate the activities children are going to do during a lesson. Last year when my older daughter was in 4th grade she did a presentation for us at the end of the year on the smart board which included videos, current writing and samples from earlier in the year she also measured angles on the smart board--it was amazing to watch her whip around the board so easily. That being said at her school she does do quite a bit of writing by hand and is capable of very legible handwriting when she slows down and pays attention to the quality.

Other schools in our district may have one or two smartboards in the entire building. The building in which I work has put money into projectors (this is typically out of the classroom budget which means the grade level team uses most of their money for the year on the projector) this allows many of the same functions as a smart board for a lot less money.
post #28 of 100
So is there an Overhead Projector Graveyard somewhere? I'm kind of a Luddite (she typed into her laptop...) at least for schools, so I hate to see people get all excited about "technology in the classroom." But I can see how they'd be useful for some teachers. The other half of my brain thinks: would these teachers know what to do if the power went out for the day? (Other than send the kids home.)
So far as I know, none of our elementary schools have smart boards. They do have some thingamajiggy like a "document viewer" which seems like a fancy overhead projector that magnifies things. But I don't think it's connected to the teacher's computer. Now...back to making candles or somesuch.
post #29 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hidden Life View Post
So is there an Overhead Projector Graveyard somewhere? I'm kind of a Luddite (she typed into her laptop...) at least for schools, so I hate to see people get all excited about "technology in the classroom." But I can see how they'd be useful for some teachers. The other half of my brain thinks: would these teachers know what to do if the power went out for the day? (Other than send the kids home.)
So far as I know, none of our elementary schools have smart boards. They do have some thingamajiggy like a "document viewer" which seems like a fancy overhead projector that magnifies things. But I don't think it's connected to the teacher's computer. Now...back to making candles or somesuch.
Well, big whup. Either way, power goes out and you're doomed.

I've worked with a SMART board and they are nifty. No, they are not the end all, be all. However, when used well (like any tool or equipment) then I can see their value.

Are they necessary? No. Can one survive without them? Yes.

However, in the advancement of technology (thankfully we can finally moved past those overhead projectors that were either always blurry or just a teacher writing on the screen with a dry erase), they are useful. And as another poster mention, they may be bought with grant money, so it's not exactly from "taxpayer" dollars.

That said, I would not expect a school to buy one in this regression time unless the funds were there there to justify it.
post #30 of 100
Do people who seem to be a bit anti-technology realize that in all colleges, and many highschools today students use laptops? If I went to the lecture hall at my school without my netbook, I am almost positive out of 200+ people in the room, I would be the only one taking notes on paper. seriously. I can only imagine 10 years from now. It doesn't mean they don't know how to write a sentence -with a pencil, even SmartBoards, computers for everyone, and other advances are tools that make things a bit easier. And they are necessary b/c that is how the world is ran today. As a young adult looking for a job, you would most likely have to know how to use a computer, do a powerpoint presentation, and create as spreadsheet in excel. I'm just not understanding the annoyance with smartboards, especially since it's been explained by teachers how wonderful they are, and that they aren't necessarily coming out of tax payers $$ instead of funding art class.
post #31 of 100
Come on now. This is a bit extreme. The smart board is a tool, and just like any other tool, it's not the ONLY thing they use.

My ds is in first grade in a school where each classroom has a smart board, mac computer and ipods. They all work together and can make for some pretty cool lessons.

But guess what? They do LOTS of other, non technology related things. Like for their poetry unit this year they are going to make the classroom a coffee house and be deep thinking poets - the teacher dims the lights, they walk around with notebooks (yes, handwriting their poetry!), drink coco coco (their coffee) and get all deep with their poetry and readings.

They do stuff like this everyday, every week. The smart board is just a tool, and a very cool one. It does not mean the teachers would have no idea how to teach without it. That's a big leap.
post #32 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hidden Life View Post
The other half of my brain thinks: would these teachers know what to do if the power went out for the day? (Other than send the kids home.)
actually, our school has a couple of days a year that they "unplug." Almost no electricity.

They tried doing it on days that they could open all the windows, but the parents of kids with allergies complained, so they now keep the building sealed up with ac or heating on, and they do allow the kitchen to function as usual, but for everything else, the school unplugs. It's part of our earth day celebration.

I'm in my mid 40s, so computers were pretty much non existant and calculators were a very big deal back in the day. I'm fine with my kids presenting their oral reports with power point using a smart board. The world has changed. They won't be looking for a job in the 80s.

(And no calculators in our district until grade 7, and then only for limited assignments. The kids still have to learn long division, which, IMHO is a complete waste of time.)
post #33 of 100
[QUOTE=Drummer's Wife;14317044]Do people who seem to be a bit anti-technology realize that in all colleges, and many highschools today students use laptops? If I went to the lecture hall at my school without my netbook, I am almost positive out of 200+ people in the room, I would be the only one taking notes on paper. seriously. QUOTE]

Really? I graduated college <3 years ago and almost nobody brought a laptop to class-it was all paper and pencil!
post #34 of 100
About half the classrooms in dd's school have them. Last year in grade 1, the teacher used it to play educational games, for some lessons and they would use it to listen to stories while they ate lunch (I think they were called Tumbleweed books, where the book was read while the pages are shown on the screen). According to dd, her teacher didn't use it very often. Other classes that don't have a smartboard came into dd's class to use it while they were at PE or library or something. I don't know if she has one in her classroom this year or not.
post #35 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

Really? I graduated college <3 years ago and almost nobody brought a laptop to class-it was all paper and pencil!
maybe it depends on the school, location, individual courses? My perspective is a bit limited, TBH, because I have only been taking online and blended courses at my college. So, I've only been on campus for lectures and testing less than a dozen times.

For me, at least, writing everything by hand would take forever! I would be afraid my prof. was talking too quickly for me to catch up. I can type super fast, though
post #36 of 100
We have them in every classroom in every grade from K-12. The teacher uses them to show stuff on her computer, to let the kids write, etc. They can handle several different media at once so the teacher could have up a web page and then write over it and have an mp3 file going in the background. Super cool and this is for my kindergartener's class!

Our school is very computerized. All their readers (they are in Chinese Immersion) are online. You can download both the books as well as mp3 files of the teachers reading the books.

I love the technology.
post #37 of 100
Where did you go to college 3 years ago that the majority of people didn't have laptops. I'm not trying to be snarky at all, just honestly curious if it's regional or something.

I'm ancient so when I went to college I took notes. My younger sisters, however all went to college 1999-2009 (some of them got advanced degrees) and even back in '99 they each needed laptops for school. This was 4 year, public universities on the west coast.

About 2 years ago I took several courses at a public, 4 year university here in the deep south. A laptop wasn't "required" - but every single person had one.

With the cost being so cheap (esp for a word processing laptop that can get online) I can't imagine why anyone would choose to write notes. I type a gazillion times faster than I write, plus my hand gets tired. Technology is a good thing, IMO. Very good.
post #38 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlprof View Post
I suspect the overwhelming response here is either because people with smart boards are the ones reading the thread or because the MDC community is well above average in terms of income levels and therefore the kids here mostly attend schools in well-off school systems.
Nope. Our district is certainly not well off, we are actually below average in our area when it comes to money available for teachers for supplies, but our PTO has been fundraising like crazy to purchase smart boards and additional playground equipment. I know that the teachers that have already received the smart boards love them and are very appreciative.
post #39 of 100
Yeah, I must say the snarkiness about people who use technology being dumb to all else is a bit much.

Look. We're all at this site, sitting on our butts (or standing) LOOKING at a computer screen. Using technology. If the power goes out, does that mean that we all suddenly lose the capacity to think and talk about parenting, and that we all become mainstream drones?

Tech is cool. If you like to use it, great! If you don't like, great! Let's not assume that teachers who use the smartboard are idiots who couldn't teach without it. That's kind of a stretch. Having gone to school in the days where computers were just starting to become important (but everyone I knew still took notes by hand) and knowing a ton of HS and college age kids now? Writing notes with your hands doesn't make you smarter.

Though take that with a grain of salt, I DID go to a land-grant ag/safety school (VA Tech) after all. :P
post #40 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistymama View Post
Where did you go to college 3 years ago that the majority of people didn't have laptops. I'm not trying to be snarky at all, just honestly curious if it's regional or something.

I'm ancient so when I went to college I took notes. My younger sisters, however all went to college 1999-2009 (some of them got advanced degrees) and even back in '99 they each needed laptops for school. This was 4 year, public universities on the west coast.

About 2 years ago I took several courses at a public, 4 year university here in the deep south. A laptop wasn't "required" - but every single person had one.

With the cost being so cheap (esp for a word processing laptop that can get online) I can't imagine why anyone would choose to write notes. I type a gazillion times faster than I write, plus my hand gets tired. Technology is a good thing, IMO. Very good.

This reminded me that when I took college courses 7 yrs ago most of the students had laptops (I did not at the time) and even 10 years ago during my Montessori training I would say about half of the class had laptops. My friend who came to the states from Japan for training had a tiny laptop (like, the same size as my netbook now) and a small portable printer that she would use daily - everyone thought that was really cool and ahead of the times back then.

Even my DS's preschool class has a computer for the kids to use. I would be really shocked if by the time our kids are in HS and then College if everything wasn't done on computers. I was hoping to get all e-textbooks for my courses this semester that way I didn't have heavy books, and come to find out my Algebra class book is only offered in an online version - that way it's interactive to turn in our homework even.
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