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Are smart boards the norm in schools now? - Page 4

post #61 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.
Yeah, I don't think there is note taking in Kinder.

As far as the income assumptions here, um, no. Have you not seen the frugality board and all the low income threads at MDC? Sometimes its just about how well a school manages funds. Our community where I live is mainly average to low income families and quite a lot of poverty level families. Yet our elementary school has smart boards in every classroom and brand new Mac computers in the 2 comp labs and a good portion of the classrooms have them too. Our school also does not charge for registration, transportation or field trips. I'm actually very proud of what our school has managed to do with the funds it does get.

My son has special needs and relies on this technology quite a bit. His fine motor skills often make it hard for him to do his work by hand, or to have readable handwriting. Its not because he doesn't try or doesn't have enough practice, he just can't do it. I've watched the kids in the special ed room do assignments using the smart board and also one of the 3 Macs in the classroom. I'm very thankful that my child has the opportunity to get a good education in a way that works for them. If he had to do everything the "old fashioned way" I don't think he'd do as well as he does.
post #62 of 100
Yes I am one of those MDC members who has an above average income and live in a good neighborhood and my children attend a Title 1 school. I also hang out on the frugal boards here.
We have the smart boards. A teacher did a demo last night at the PTA meeting. I thought it was awesome.
They have one in one of the 2nd grade classrooms (the teacher had the most training) and one in the library. The cost is about 5K each so eventually they will have them in all classrooms. Most likely by the time my dd2 starts kindy in two years.

After the demo, I LOL and told our principal how when I was in 6th grade 25 plus years ago we read about the "school children of the future" and one of the things was a huge computer screen as a black board. Well here it is! Now I feel really old.

When I was in college many many moons ago during the first Bush Adminstration, computer labs were a new thing on campuses and I was a minority because I had my own PC and printer in my room. Several of my friends would hang out and them write their papers at my Apt. Some would bring pizza, watch Melrose Place and then later write their history papers. LOL. Email was a novelty and something new. So was having a modem on your PC. Just 5 short years later, my sister said most of the students had their own pc in their roomm and modem. Laptops were still in their infancy.

I could not imagine not having one now. Heck, at the preschool board meeting the Secretary takes the minutes on her laptop as we conduct the meeting because then she dosent have to go type it later. At the end of the meeting, she emails it out to the rest of us.

As far as smartboards, again its just a tool just like the pencil. If it reaches students that might not have been reached than more power to them. I dont think it will make everyone learn easier, but my dds who are younger than 8 are already getting savy on the net and pc. In a few more years, we will need 3-4 pcs instead of just one now.
post #63 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by green View Post
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.
I remember playing Pong, and that is part of the reason why I am adept at using all technologies now. The specific applications and pieces of hardware aren't what we are training kids to use for their future. We are helping kids learn how to work with these tools in whatever ways are appropriate at that time. I, along with my students, am what is called a "digital native." I grew up with this stuff. No, I don't program in BASIC anymore, but the fact that I DID means I can now work with all kids of platforms and equipment.
post #64 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoteat View Post
I remember playing Pong, and that is part of the reason why I am adept at using all technologies now.
I believe Pong is also available on Wii.. isn't it one you can download? (actually my 11yo says pong "laser hockey" is on Wii Play- all my kids have played it )

To build off what you said, I think it is important to teach kids about the technology we have so they will be ready to make the advances when we need them.

Isn't it true that the guy that invented Pong sold it for a piddly amount (whoops!) and then went on to invent the dancing characters in Chuck E Cheese? I believe I heard that once... nothing like learning from one's mistakes.

ETA: Ah yes, Nolan Bushnell.
post #65 of 100
We just moved from Fairfax County, VA, and in most of the schools there, every classroom had one. The PTAs did lots of fundraisers to buy them. The teachers consider them a great resource, apparently, and the students respond well. I think it's great.
post #66 of 100
We don't have smart boards in our school. It's a tiny charter school, and there simply isn't money available for these things. Even if we did have the money, our school has much more pressing concerns. I don't feel like my children are missing out at all by not having smart boards available to them.
post #67 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.
I was taking classes two years ago, at Penn State, and not one student came into either of my classes with laptops to take notes. One was a 400 level ethics class, the other was an intro Poli-sci class. Most carried laptops, but not one person took notes on them. In fact, both classes had powerpoint slides with outlines, and we were encouraged strongly to print these out and take notes on them.
post #68 of 100
All of our classrooms have smart boards. They're pretty cool.

It seems that all the teachers also have mics. You can't hear them outside of the classroom but they seem to work well in the classroom. Must save their voices some. Dd1's teacher didn't use one last year but both the girls' teachers do this year.
post #69 of 100
We have Smart Boards. We live in a blue collar neighborhood.

Our elementary school looks almost ready to be condemned. Most of the schools in our school district have been updated we're last I guess.

Our schools win awards. Our families are lower income for the most part. (Way higher than average free and reduced lunch students.)

I love our schools.
post #70 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatteras Gal View Post
It seems that all the teachers also have mics. You can't hear them outside of the classroom but they seem to work well in the classroom. Must save their voices some. Dd1's teacher didn't use one last year but both the girls' teachers do this year.
Mics aren't actually for the purpose of saving the teacher's voices. It is actually to help the hard of hearing students. It's an accomodation thing.
post #71 of 100
Ok, I was feeling a bit snarky when I made that post and I'm getting snarked at back. But, I'm pretty sure that despite a number of low income boards, the income *averages* around here are well above national averages. Our PTA also fundraises like crazy, and makes about $10,000 a year. We simply do not have the income base at the school to do a lot more than that.

Now the grant programs sound interesting. Though I'm not sure if I had $5000 to spend per classroom that a smartboard is what I would spend it on.

I guess my thought was more along the lines of, I know there are classrooms in this country where teachers are hurting for books and other basic necessities. While a smartboard sounds incredibly cool, it's clearly a luxury, not a necessity. If I were queen, I'd make sure all the children had books, paper, etc., before spreading around the smartboards. But that is probably a topic for another thread.
post #72 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlprof View Post
Ok, I was feeling a bit snarky when I made that post and I'm getting snarked at back. But, I'm pretty sure that despite a number of low income boards, the income *averages* around here are well above national averages. Our PTA also fundraises like crazy, and makes about $10,000 a year. We simply do not have the income base at the school to do a lot more than that.

Now the grant programs sound interesting. Though I'm not sure if I had $5000 to spend per classroom that a smartboard is what I would spend it on.

I guess my thought was more along the lines of, I know there are classrooms in this country where teachers are hurting for books and other basic necessities. While a smartboard sounds incredibly cool, it's clearly a luxury, not a necessity. If I were queen, I'd make sure all the children had books, paper, etc., before spreading around the smartboards. But that is probably a topic for another thread.
The thing about technology grants and the like is that they are very specific for what they can spend the money on.

Our school isn't particularly wealthy either, our pta raises probably about the same amount. We do have an AWESOME state rep who manages to get our school district lots of great stuff. Last year our whole school district got a whole new reading curriculum and a whole new social studies curriculum, because of grant money that his office secured.

So , yes smart boards are definitely a luxury, but it is a lot of times a matter of talented grant writers
post #73 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
Mics aren't actually for the purpose of saving the teacher's voices. It is actually to help the hard of hearing students. It's an accomodation thing.
I didn't actually think that saving their voices was the sole use of the mics, just an added benefit. Never really gave it much thought past it must be hard to get 20 5 year olds attention and it must really come in handy. Good to know it's more than just saving teachers from having to buy lots of tea and honey.
post #74 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatteras Gal View Post
...
It seems that all the teachers also have mics. You can't hear them outside of the classroom but they seem to work well in the classroom. Must save their voices some. Dd1's teacher didn't use one last year but both the girls' teachers do this year.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
Mics aren't actually for the purpose of saving the teacher's voices. It is actually to help the hard of hearing students. It's an accomodation thing.
The mics are more 'surround sound' than just a microphone.

The speech teacher in my school has written grants for the past 3-4 years & has placed the sound system in about 10 classrooms so far (all grants, so no school district money). It's more than accommodation for HOH students (we don't have any currently in my school) but increasing time on task for everyone. Her basis is improvement in ELA (English Language Arts) scores as well as individual assessment scores in classrooms where kids are currently testing low & there is an improvement in their scores after a teacher uses this. Frequencies don't get lost & everyone in the room can clearly hear the teacher.

I'm the librarian & we're trying to come up with a grant together for me to get one, but it's hard since I don't do any testing that could quantify a 'before' and 'after'.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlprof View Post
...
Now the grant programs sound interesting. Though I'm not sure if I had $5000 to spend per classroom that a smartboard is what I would spend it on.
...
Almost of these of grants are specific - it's not so much you get the money & then decide what to spend it on. There is a lot of technology money out there, both private and public, and some of that is due to the 'showy' nature of the technology. Also grant programs are generally seen to enhance the school, so books and paper are seen as basics to be supplied by the district. I live in a pretty income segregated area (Long Island) so lots of the poorer districts have tons of technology and great libraries due to grants & other enhancement monies in an attempt to level the field.
post #75 of 100
I live in a tiny, rural town. Our (tiny) school has smartboards. They are very interesting, the kids love the lessons with them. They haven't replaced any hands on teaching that I am aware of.
post #76 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!
It has to be location and university . . . I graduated undergrad 10 years ago, so started my undergrad 14 years ago. My freshman year, probably about 50% of my classmates took notes on laptops; by senior year, probably about 90%.
post #77 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlprof View Post
Ok, I was feeling a bit snarky when I made that post and I'm getting snarked at back. But, I'm pretty sure that despite a number of low income boards, the income *averages* around here are well above national averages. Our PTA also fundraises like crazy, and makes about $10,000 a year. We simply do not have the income base at the school to do a lot more than that.

Now the grant programs sound interesting. Though I'm not sure if I had $5000 to spend per classroom that a smartboard is what I would spend it on.

I guess my thought was more along the lines of, I know there are classrooms in this country where teachers are hurting for books and other basic necessities. While a smartboard sounds incredibly cool, it's clearly a luxury, not a necessity. If I were queen, I'd make sure all the children had books, paper, etc., before spreading around the smartboards. But that is probably a topic for another thread.
Sometimes it's not up to the teachers/parents/schools. I believe in our particular state that our governer decided we'd all be 21st century ready and set aside funds for particular things like smartboards regardless of whether a school had working drinking fountains or enough paper to last the year.

post #78 of 100
I didn't read all the posts, however I have kids from K-11th grade in three different school districts and I have never heard of them or seen them.
post #79 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlprof View Post
.

I guess my thought was more along the lines of, I know there are classrooms in this country where teachers are hurting for books and other basic necessities. While a smartboard sounds incredibly cool, it's clearly a luxury, not a necessity. If I were queen, I'd make sure all the children had books, paper, etc., before spreading around the smartboards. But that is probably a topic for another thread.
I just wanted to say that if you get awarded a technology grant, you don't have the liberty of spending the money on books. Whoever gives away the money declares how it's to be spent.
post #80 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatteras Gal View Post
I didn't actually think that saving their voices was the sole use of the mics, just an added benefit. Never really gave it much thought past it must be hard to get 20 5 year olds attention and it must really come in handy. Good to know it's more than just saving teachers from having to buy lots of tea and honey.
I tend to be a mic-hate if there isn't a student in my class who needs it as an accommodation, but you are right, they do save my voice! I still rarely use it, but as I am not naturally soft-spoken anyways (the New Yorker in me ) my voice is taking a beating everyday.


Of course, I think there are nights that my husband is grateful I am a bit less talkative!
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