Smartboards vs Blackboards

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Science207, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Science207

    Science207 New Member

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    Apr 17, 2008

    I am trying to see which system is better for our school. I teach science and would like to have one boards for teaching. Can you give me some advice?
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 17, 2008

    By better, do you mean more efficient? Or expensive/cheap? Ease of use? Because smartboards are very cool, but expensive and require training.
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We have a smartboard and a dry erase board (yuck on blackboard). We really do use both all the time. The smartboard is a way to be interactive and use technology. The dry erase board is easy to get to and write on for quick activities or morning messages. I could technically do everything on the smartboard with time and training but not necessarily so on the dry erase board. We have individual dry erase boards for classroom use as well.
     
  5. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    SMART BOARDS!! with a combo of dry erase boards. Smart boards are they neatest thing. I've not had any formal training. I just jumped right in. You can connect your smartboard to your computer and a projector, we do powerpoint slides, watch movies on it and alot more. Today I even used it as I linked to a website for reference. They are a bit pricey, but SO worth it in my opinion.
     
  6. DannyC09

    DannyC09 Rookie

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    All of the teachers at my school LOVE their Smartboards... Obivously, SmartBoards will never fully replace the dry erase boards but all the teachers at my school use them...even for math!

    My chemistry teacher is always using his. In addition to using it for powerpoints, and notes, we use it in class to look at science related videos, websites and web activites.

    Yes, they do require training. All our teachers had to take 2 weeks out of their vacation to get their training (this occured when ALL of the smartboards were installed.). Currently, new teachers are taught the basics during the workdays before the school year starts.

    If you want more information, why not find a school that uses Smartboards on a daily basis? Ask to observe a teacher during class so how they use them for their lessons...
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I admit, we weren't trained except how to set it up and basically some things it was used for. That's a shame because I can think of tons of things I want to create and I make do with microsoft software. I want to, for example, create drag and drop activities. This week I've been playing around with animated morning messages using power point. That's been a nice change of pace and the kids came right in and sat down because they were facinated and reading the smartboard to try to figure out what the heck was going on. (1st grade)
     
  8. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    We use SMARTBoards at my school. They are very handy!
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Apr 17, 2008

    Are you talking about the old "write on it with chalk" blackboards, or the website model called "BlackBoard"?
     
  10. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    My Smartboard COMPLETELY replaced my dry erase board! I never, ever use my dry erase board. No need to when you have a Smartboard.
     
  11. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    If you are talking about the online blackboard- I think it is great for probably jr high and up. But sometimes it is a pain. Well like all technologies it sometimes crashes and information gets lost in cyberspace. You can submit documents and sometimes it just will not accept them. But if you are a teacher who is understanding of that- then I think it is fine. I enjoy blackboard- its really big in college.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I vote for Promethean boards.
     
  13. Briana008

    Briana008 Companion

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    Apr 18, 2008

    I'm a science teacher as well! :) I had a SMARTboard where I student taught and I absolutely loved it. As long as there isn't a power outage or burned out projector bulb, it can completely replace a dry erase board. I really like being able to utilize interactive websites with my students and having the technology actually made the students more willing to come write on the board. My new teaching position has the possibility of a SMARTboard if I'm willing to go through the training and I really hope it works out that I can get one!

    ~Briana~
     
  14. OutInHawaii

    OutInHawaii New Member

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    May 1, 2008

    One of my professors forwarded this to us.
    http:// www. ted .com/ talks/ view/ id/ 245
    (I can't link yet, so just delete the spaces in the URL.)

    It's a cheaper alternative that utilizes the WiiMote as opposed to a formal smartboard. It would require more tech knowledge from your teachers, and is limited in its features, but does save a alot of money.
     
  15. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    The school I taught at last year was in a very wealthy school division and by the end of the year, we had SMARTboards in every classroom but the kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 8/9 rooms. They are amazing!

    I also had no formal training and I jumped right in too. We used websites like http://www.unitedstreaming.com and http://www.brainpop.com for video resources. Also, if you teach Science, geography, math or language arts there are plenty of interactive games available online that your students can play with the SMARTboard. A lot of the teachers I knew used the SMARTboard as part of their reward system.

    The best part is the SMARTNotebook technology is free. I no longer have a SMARTboard, but I purchased a projector for my classroom (and for myself) and I use that instead. The only unfortunate thing is I love the interactive portion. So yeah, I love SMARTboards.
     
  16. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    May 1, 2008

    We have "Star"Boards in our room instead of "SMART" boards, which gives us an additional monitor with a stylus that sits on our desk instead of smartboard screen. It is much easier to use than a regular smart board! I'm at home, so I can't tell you the manufacturer off the top of my head, but I can tell you later when I get there. I highly recommend it simply because it is limitless. With the interactive screen at my desk, there are no limitations as to where I can interact on the screen. I simply use a pull down white screen.
     
  17. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    If the screen is at your desk, then the kids can't interact with the screen, which is part of the purpose of a SMARTboard.
     
  18. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    OK, I'm at work, and yes, the kids can interact because we have bluetooth portable boards with a stylus as well that I can let the kids use. It is a Hitachi StarBoard. I highly, highly recommend it!
     
  19. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Okay, that's interesting. Is the software free? Because I have a projector, and if all I have to do is invest in a coupld of portable boards with a stylus, then it might be something I look into if I can see how the software works.
     
  20. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    The software is part of the main starboard. The bluetooth boards are extra I'm sure. I love it though, because the kids can interact without leaving their desks. The software will work with anything though...I can pull in web pages, excel sheets, powerpoint presentations, anything, and have drawing interaction on them through the starboard software. We bought ours from a company called Troxel Communications, but I would think that there are other companies who carry them as well. I also have an ELMO document camera which I can pull those pictures/videos into the software as well to interact with them.
     
  21. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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  22. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Thanks! It may not be in the cards now, but since I already have an LCD Projector it just seems to be the next step. I am certainly not going to buy my own SMARTboard!
     
  23. SSA

    SSA Companion

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    I think they are great in that they allow teachers and students to do some very neat things that previously weren't nearly as easy to do, but I do have some concerns.

    The only major criticism I will make is that most of them are far smaller than the "typical" dry erase board. There are some good size electronic whiteboards on the market, but I haven't ever seen them in schools although I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few affluent schools that have the larger size smartboards. For more complicated math problems that you do in the later grades there is too much work to fit on the typical smaller smartboards I see in classrooms. You either have to write small or skip steps, neither which is desirable because a lot of students are often easily confused if they miss a single step. That being said you can always save the writing and jump to another blank page, but being able to see the big picture is somewhat nice. I typically prefer the low tech whiteboard for higher level math courses for this reason.

    One minor thing I only recently noticed is that some of the models still use old school RS-232 serial ports, which is odd in that virtually all modern laptops and and a good percentage of desktops don't have these ports anymore. Fortunately, most school have older computers so this isn't much of an issue and even if it were a problem USB-serial adapters are cheap.

    One thing I wonder is how long these boards last? Blackboards of yore lasted for decades. I can buy a good size blackboard(4-6' wide) for a $100-$200 and some places would warranty the thing for 50 years because the vast majority would still be functioning 50 years later. The annualized cost of a good blackboard is easily less than $5 a year, which is dirt cheap, but what is the annualized cost of one of these electronic whiteboards?

    These new boards are typically at best warrantied for five years and depending on the size, vendor, etc. can easily cost in excess of $2K. The technology has been used in corporate environments for over a decade, but I can't find a lot of third party data on reliability on these things never mind how long they will last with the abuse of kids.

    They are great technology, no question about it, but is this the best use of our finite budgets? Maybe, maybe not. Back when I was a student I saw a lot of money spent on computers back when virtually any new desktop computer well exceeded $1K. Sometimes they were useful to the class, but in many cases they sat underused. Worse, yet a lot of school districts spent millions on these underused computers while they struggled to buy other low tech school supplies that were still necessary.

    As much as I love computers in retrospect, most modern observers would agree that a lot of the money spent on computers in schools in the 80s and well into the 90s, when computers were far less useful and far more expensive in real dollars was a huge waste. While I am not as cynical about this new technology I am concerned about how a lot of school admins and even some teachers seem to exaggerate the value of every new technology purchase to improving education.

    Every dollar you spend on these is a dollar you can't spend on something else. The question though is what is that thing you would have otherwise spent the money on and would it have been a better purchase?

    While these smart Boards can be a bit pricey provided you aren't giving up anything critical in order to acquire smart boards I don't see any reason for schools shouldn't consider buying them.
     
  24. SuperMissM

    SuperMissM Rookie

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    I love my Smart Board.. I keep the notes for science in a file so the kids know exactly what they should have. I keep all of the illustrations etc there too. We play the learning games with the whole class and kids using the board.

    We are getting the air liners and student response systems too... I am so excited!
     
  25. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    SSA - I worked in a division with a lot of oil money - so the money, in particular was not an issue.
     
  26. a_apple_z_zebra

    a_apple_z_zebra Rookie

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    I love using Smart Boards. I especially enjoy being able to switch between applications without losing my work, and being able to save and print off class notes for my own reference, and for my students.
     

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