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No Chalk Needed: Schools Use Interactive White Boards

As part of a five-year plan, interactive white boards are being used throughout all subject areas.

From playing math games to editing writing assignments, interactive white boards are engaging students in their work at .

The interactive white boards project a teacher’s laptop and turn the mounted white board into a touchscreen, according to Spring Street School Principal Bryan Mabie. A stylus is used to manipulate the objects on the screen. The technology can be used across subject areas, from displaying a morning message to the students, to playing math games, and displaying and editing writing samples.

Connor Simmons and Gregory Hurter, both students in Sandra Travers’ fourth-grade class at the school, recently worked on their multiplication facts skills while playing a baseball math game. They used a stylus to roll a pair of dice and then had to multiply the numbers rolled and use that answer to get ahead in the on-screen game.

The students are “completely engaged,” when using the interactive white boards, Travers said, adding “It’s incredible. I think every teacher should have one.”

And that’s the goal, according to Mabie. Spring Street School currently has a total of four interactive white boards—one each in Grades 1 through 4, he said.

The technology is in its first year of a five-year plan, he said, with a goal for each of the 17 classrooms at the school to have an interactive white board at the end of the five years.

The pilot program has done much to “support instruction and learning,” Mabie said.

“It’s amazing, the level of engagement and motivation,” he said.

Mabie said the students all raise their hands and want a turn at the technology, adding that it’s been a great way for them to demonstrate what they’ve been learning.

The teachers seem to be as excited as the students about the new technology, he said, and have been working on their own time to collaborate with each other, sharing resources and lessons both throughout the school and the district.

According to Jonathan Green, director of technology for the school district, the elementary schools in town now also have some iPads, which students and teachers can use, and roughly 25 interactive digital classrooms in total.

“We’re very excited about them,” Green said. “Teachers are seeing great results…a lot of good outcomes.”

Missy Hollenback February 01, 2012 at 10:34 PM
As we hear more about the school budget crisis, it is important to note that much of this technology is being paid for by outside sources: such as corporate grants, PTO's, the Garden Party and most recently Shrewsbury Education Foundation(SEF). SEF has provided the Coolidge school with a software program for using Calendar Math on the Interactive White Board. These technologies are helping our plugged in children but the most important thing in the classroom is not a thing at all but is the teacher.

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