Since the fall of 2004 125 classrooms in the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District have been revolutionized by the installation of a touch-sensitive screen that works in conjunction with a computer and a projector providing interactivity for students and teachers. Some, skeptical at first, did not believe in ability of the interactive whiteboard (IWB) to redefine the delivery of classroom content. That belief did not last long as the first classroom pioneers, middle school math teachers, started using their IWB to enhance instruction. With the renovation of Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School came the installation of IWBs in classrooms, computer labs, library and seminar room. Since then, IWBs have found homes in all schools in the District. There are numerous models of IWBs; Dennis-Yarmouth chose the SmartBoard™. Most of the boards have been purchased with high school renovation or grant funds.
So what does an IWB do and why is having one in their classroom the envy of teachers and a magnet to students? The following is a few of the many capabilities of the IWB in the classroom.
Recognizes the handwriting of our youngest users
Capture images and text during a lesson for review
Links directly to the Internet for view by the whole class
View classroom textbooks and math journals
Manipulates shapes during geometry lessons
Creates interactive games
Teach geography by taking virtual field trips
Visualize simulations of scientific processes
Peer editing by displaying student work
Emulates a graphing calculator
Capture portions of video content for playback later with notes
Students absent may replay lessons
When asked about the impact of having a Smartboard™ in their classroom, enthusiastic responses were received. Grade 6 teacher, Peter Cross says, “Adding a SmartBoard™ to my room brought my instruction from the Dark Ages of chalk to the daylight of the current age of technology. The students love the SmartBoard™, it is part of their techno crazy world. They love working at the board and demonstrating information and procedures.”
Sandi Nagle, 2nd Grade teacher, responded, “The possibilities are endless. The Smartboard™ has opened a portal to best practice in teaching. Teachers can differentiate instruction, support multiple intelligences and address the needs of all learners. Without a Smartboard™, I feel that my instruction would be less explicit, interactive, and effective.”
Tracie Siege, 3rd Grade, comments, “Having a SmartBoard™ in my classroom has completely affected all aspects of my instruction! I am able to provide supportive visual aides for every possible content area and lesson. I have been able to incorporate so many types of multi-media components in order to bring the “real life” into the classroom. It has also been an invaluable tool for teaching MCAS prep and showing actual student examples.”
2nd Grade teacher, Cheryl Warren says, “The SmartBoard™ has changed the way I deliver instruction. I use the SmartBoard™ in every aspect of the day. The students expect it. The SmartBoard™ is an intrinsic part of our school day. The students of today need this technology to keep their minds active and learning. It gets their brain to where it needs to be in an efficient and cohesive way. With the SmartBoard™ they are completely engaged in their learning.
Kate Franklin, Grade 7 and 8, responded, “As a seasoned veteran of teaching, the SmartBoard™ has revolutionized my classroom and the way I plan my lessons. It has encouraged me to grow as a teacher. I am learning new ways to connect and communicate and can use that with the struggling learner, as well as the gifted student.”
Finally, DYH Math teacher, Jen Legge, rattles off the many uses for her board, “visual seating charts, attendance by students by tapping their name or picture, show actual Math textbook, YouTube, class PowerPoints©, share work that has been scanned, real time problems, copies of class notes made available online for students, easily switch from one screen to another for reference, save student work when groups do work from a wireless tablet, just too many.”
Two fourth graders from Marguerite E. Small School, Chris Carey and Joey Tierney, sum up having a SmartBoard™ in their classrooms, “It helps us learn better!”
Lory Stewart, Director of Instructional Technology