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Are smart boards the norm in schools now? - Page 3

post #41 of 100
I went to university from 99-03 at a school that is famous for its computer programs, all the big u.s. companies come up and recruit there, etc, and maybe one or two people had a laptop in any given class. (Of course, I imagine the number owuld be pretty high for the actual computer faculties.)
post #42 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
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.
Just out of curiosity, is there a program that makes it really easy to enter in algebraic formulas and the like?

I'm an engineer and I can't imagine doing much of the coursework I did directly on the computer. Too many exponents! To enter everything in on a standard keyboard just seems way too cumbersome.

I went to undergrad/grad 1995-2002 at highly ranked universities, in electrical engineering, and I never used my laptop in class. Sure, I had one. In grad school, all our lectures were in power point. We would print out the slides ahead of time and mark our notes on the hardcopy of the slides. Just too many equations, diagrams, etc. to be entering directly into the computer IMO. I'd guess there must be a better option now?
post #43 of 100
Our school just got one last year. It's was purchased thanks to a grant, and is now in the library for everyone to use. I wish I could have one in my classroom (instead of the dusty chalkboard ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
As the mom of a three-year-old who got here through "today's posts" I am horrified. I'm thinking living overseas (like in France, where they still have to write their term papers by hand) might be cheaper than private school.

How awful- you don't have to take your own notes? What's the point?
I'm a big believer in "doing it by hand". The kids have a notebook for every subject (I teach 5th grade). The only time I would consider using a smart board for printing notes is for a child that was absent. Otherwise, students either take notes, use textbooks or receive printouts.


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.)
Ouch. That hurt. Today I spent almost two hours with the kids outside. The first hour was a "get to know each other picnic" (it's only the second day of school over here), and the second hour was an involved social studies lesson. Each child had an atlas, a notebook, a handout and a pencil with them. Everyone worked quietly and independently. The weather is absolutely wonderful over here. I can't get enough!

SmartBoard is not meant to do the work for the student. It is meant to break up the routine and make the lessons more fun. I plan to bring my kids up to the library once a week to either introduce a new topic or to play a review game before the test. Rest assured, I don't mean for the kids to master the concepts with SmartBoard. Believe it or not, I am a well aware that practice is something each student will have to do without technology, and I am the first one to stress the importance of writing by hand. I always require a handwritten draft before asking for a typed final copy.

So, to answer the question - yes, I would know what to do if the power went out. Now may I please get a SmartBoard?
post #44 of 100
I teach kindergarten in a title 1 school in an urban district. My room does not have a smart board, but many of the rooms in my school do... and I think we requested smart boards for every room that doesn't already have one out of stimulus monies... I don't know when we'll get them exactly, but I'm excited.

I've only used a smart board (in our library) with my class 3 or 4 times. I've mostly used it to connect to kid friendly internet sites that relate to what we're learning about in class. Our school has a subscription to the scholastic website that gets us access to interactive books online, and she has used that with the kids a time or two. The kids love it. Since the screen is touch sensitive, they can come up and activate icons and drag stuff around on the screen. I also tried to use it with a story writer software program that we have. But I have to admit, I'm not very adept with it... but I'd love to learn more, because I can really see the potential.
post #45 of 100
My DD's school has them, too (elementary)
post #46 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiValleySteph View Post
Just out of curiosity, is there a program that makes it really easy to enter in algebraic formulas and the like?

I hope so! TBH, it's only the 3rd day and I haven't gotten to the homework assignments yet But we are using MathXL.com and will have to turn in all homework via their program online. I sure hope it's not confusing for exponents and such.
post #47 of 100
I haven't read all the posts, but my take on the first post..

Smartboards are not "computerized scanners. They are much more. They allow kids to become more interactive with material. For example kids can play classroom "boardgames" on it where they run up and touch answers, work in teams, to answer trivia questions, etc..

When it is hooked to the computer it allows the teacher to save the notes from one day to transfer directly back up there for the next day.. so essentially it helps students build off ideas from day to day.. I think it actually INCREASES students notes rather than decrease because say kiddo is absent day 1, well all the notes show back up day 2 (when they are back) and get added on.. Most kids would skip jotting down the notes they missed... but when it is back up there? hard to ignore.

In our district all NEW schools have them. The district is slowly adding them in the older schools (although I think sometimes they put off putting them in to wait for a building remodel, or something).. The problem gets tricky when you have tech saavy youngsters that end up in a middle school that suddenly doesn't have them.. Children are taught to use them and then have that tool removed? So I think by putting them in Elementary schools first, districts are "forcing the hand" of funding formulas to make sure that middle and high schools get them.. whereas if they started at high school and worked down then the tool wouldn't be taken away from the kids but the tool would be added..

tricky deal..

My high school has only a few in the whole building. Two are portable ones. The others have individual teachers that wrote grants for theirs. I would like to see a teacher that really utilizes theirs well, I haven't had the chance.

ETA: I went back and read some responses..

One thing that sticks out to me BLATANTLY is the writing by hand argument.. Um, "handwriting" is really not valued in the US. Being able to operate technology is. Beautiful handwriting in Japan is considered an artform; in the US bad handwriting is associated with doctors.
post #48 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.
My housemate is a teacher and they have smartboards at his inner city school(s), so no its not all about being from a wealthy community. Its about grants, funding, and working for it.

My SIL lives in a lower income rural area, has a smart board in her 2nd grade classroom, because *she* wrote a grant to get it.
post #49 of 100
SmartBoards.com might help explain to those who aren't sure what they are used for. I can't imagine any teacher (or student) who would prefer a dusty chalkboard over a tool like a smartboard, so it's odd that parents would have any reason to not want on in their kids classroom.

Also, there are some neat videos on youtube that show it's capabilities.

The website talks about grant money and how to get help to bring them to your school. So, again, it's not like money is spent on technology that should be used for something else. To me, technology should be embraced. I was just at my kids' school earlier and I love that the library has plenty of computers (in addition to the two computer labs) with nice dell computers and flat screen monitors. They've come a long way since the old computers we used back in elementary school with the green text and Oregon Trail being as exciting as it got (loved the game, but still ).
post #50 of 100
I thought of all you mamas today when we went to visit our 6yo's teacher and classroom. Turns out there IS a smartboard in our school, just one, and of course it is in her classroom. LOL. Eating my words. The teacher just loves it. I'll withhold judgment til I see it in use.
post #51 of 100
I worked this summer as an assessor for a group that grants certification to teachers who are teaching through Teach for America among others. I had to watch videos of the teachers conducting a lesson. They were all located in poverty stricken areas. Every single one of them had a smart board or promethean board. Some had boxes stacked for walls, but they had smart boards. The funding comes from different areas and it is much easier to get any type of technology than just about anything else. I teach in a fairly well off public school, and we are just starting to get them. I was told my department (English) would be last b/c they don't think we will use them as much. I can think of 20 different ways to use them (we do daily edits with transparencies) but hey, they didn't ask us.

And even with all of today's technology, kids still take notes. And my students handwrite their research paper rough drafts- prevents plaigerism. The final is typed though, LOL.
post #52 of 100
We don't have them. Technology based Magnet school
But usually something like that is bought with award or donation money, not the usual budget $
post #53 of 100
We are getting smart boards, too. Yes, I have issues with screens BUT I still like them. They don't replace actual writing. However, they do save on paper and transperancies, etc, and are greener for it. They are useful for interactive, fun activities that are more student friendly. I even found a good website for learning how to use guide words in a dictionary. That's such a boring topic, but this website has it in the form of a video game and is actually quite fun. A teacher can have tons of resources with the smart board for free, taking up no more space. So in the long run, they are environmentally friendly and economical too.

I would never want smart boards to replace a physical book, an actual painting, math manipulatives, etc. and I don't think they will. But I do like them broadening the horizons a little.
post #54 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hidden Life View Post
So is there an Overhead Projector Graveyard somewhere? . . . 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.)
My school has an old technology graveyard in the garage. But it isn't just tech, it's broken furniture, outdated books, dated and faded posters, etc. All educational materials outlive their usefulness eventually. And, being a teacher and my school's tech coordinator, I am very geeky in the classroom. I'll admit there have been a few days where technology failed me and left me in a pinch. But any decent teacher is a master at improvisation, so it's no big deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistymama View Post
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.
I did that with my kids 2 years ago! It was probably the most fun and successful event for my class that year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
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.
That is an excellent idea! I'm filing that away in my brain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanniesue2 View Post
I've only used a smart board (in our library) with my class 3 or 4 times. I've mostly used it to connect to kid friendly internet sites that relate to what we're learning about in class. Our school has a subscription to the scholastic website that gets us access to interactive books online, and she has used that with the kids a time or two. The kids love it. Since the screen is touch sensitive, they can come up and activate icons and drag stuff around on the screen. I also tried to use it with a story writer software program that we have. But I have to admit, I'm not very adept with it... but I'd love to learn more, because I can really see the potential.
I hope your school is providing some training and not just putting them in classrooms and hoping the teachers will figure them out.
post #55 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post
...I even found a good website for learning how to use guide words in a dictionary. That's such a boring topic, but this website has it in the form of a video game and is actually quite fun. ....
would you mind sharing? I teach this as part of my reference book unit in the library & always up for exciting!
post #56 of 100
I was surprised to see them in our elementary schools as well and although I see the benefit I also see the benefit to a pencil and paper. It is all the fundraising around it that drives me crazy.
post #57 of 100
Our whole elementary and middle school has them ( up to grades 6). I don't necessarily think they are so great. I am not that excited about all the technology in the classrooms because it is easy to abuse it (both my children have spent time watching programming that does not belong in schools). I am not saying this has come from the smart board, but the smart boards can bring with them some bad habits, IMO. As my husband says, "I am a smart teacher, I don't need a smart board." I really fear that teachers will become too dependent on them and when electricity goes out, school will be canceled (whoever said that - I think was right on). Also, the arguement that kids need to be up on technology is flawed because the technology is going to change drastically by the time they are in high school/college/work force. Who remembers playing pong? And even an 18 year old that I know was talking about how much the tech. has changed from when she was in 4th grade compared to her brother.

The early grades (up through grade 6) need to be spent on the basics and solid foundations of learning and the joy of learning, etc. Technology has a place, but not in the elementary classrooms.

I will be looking up that website about smartboards that someone posted. I am eager to see how they can be used in a positive way - I hope I learn a lot.
post #58 of 100
well, maybe school would be canceled if the electricity went out, but I don't think it would be b/c teachers can't use their smartboards. Maybe b/c there won't be enough light, or air conditioning/heat, or water - depending on the school (like, where I live we have an electric powered well pumps). Also at my kids' school, the front doors slide open with sensors like those of department stores, so I imagine not having electricity would make for a hard day at school...but likely the smartboard's not working would be the least of their concerns!

I just think some people are maybe over-analyzing these as a tool. Like I said, my kids' class has one, but it is Montessori and I really don't know that the teacher has even used it with the kids - surely she doesn't rely on it for lessons because everything is hands-on. I'll have to ask my DD today to find out. I'm simply not seeing any harm it can do in a typical elementary classroom - only good.

And yes, technology is ever-changing. There are plenty of adults who can't figure simple things out (myself included - I fought with Excel last night to make a chart for my college class). All the more reason to keep the kids connected and with the times every step of the way so that they are more likely to pick up on the new stuff coming out.
post #59 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoteat View Post
I hope your school is providing some training and not just putting them in classrooms and hoping the teachers will figure them out.
Our school does a nice job of providing inservices on different topics, including using technology. We have a set number of early release days each year and they bring in speakers/trainers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinzee View Post
although I see the benefit I also see the benefit to a pencil and paper.
they don't do away with the need for paper and pencil any more than a black board did away with the need for paper and pencil

Quote:
Originally Posted by green View Post
but the smart boards can bring with them some bad habits, IMO.
anything can bring bad habits. I'm pretty sure people said the same things when the world transitioned from McGuffy readers to readers with color pictures.

Quote:
when electricity goes out, school will be canceled (whoever said that - I think was right on).
School is canceled when the power goes out because there isn't a climate control system and the kitchen is no longer hygenic.

Not because the computers are off! :

Quote:
And even an 18 year old that I know was talking about how much the tech.
so you feel that kids shouldn't touch computers until they are 18?

Quote:
The early grades (up through grade 6) need to be spent on the basics and solid foundations of learning and the joy of learning, etc.
Technology can be a part of that. Smart boards are used in my kids' classrooms in teaching math, writing, science, etc.

Last week my 7th grade DD's science teacher used the interactive nature of the smart board on a lesson on graphs. He used illustrations from the text book and a graph that he created from data they got from a science experiement and he marked everything on the board as he pointed things out. She said it helped her take better notes.
post #60 of 100
Never heard of one until this morning..........

Turns out our entire district (one of the largest in the state) just received a large grant for promethean boards, which sound identical to smart boards, and have started installing them district-wide. I didn't catch every single detail, but at our school they are starting with 3rd grade, which is my DD's grade, and the boards are installed in 3 classrooms already and the others will be done shortly. The teachers go for training on the 16th. Our school opted to have select teacher representatives at various grade levels to go to all the trainings (24 hours is required) and train the other teachers at the school. Our district has these boards going into all schools (elem, middle, high) and has a roll-out plan.

I read the entire thread and found it interesting that in the middle schools here, they are installing the boards in the English classrooms first.

I think the principal said the grant was a 16-year plan, but perhaps she said "6". Either way, she definitely said the district plans to have them all installed and everyone trained in five years. I laughed out loud without meaning to.... nothing goes to plan, KWIM?

I am curious who funds all these boards and who fixes them and what company is ultimately benefitting from all this business????
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