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  #21  
Old 26.09.2011, 21:50
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

Until you actually teach a class using one, you dont realise how much it makes your job easier and how much more likely kids are to respond to a lesson that uses one.
They really are quite worthwhile IMHO.
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  #22  
Old 26.09.2011, 21:55
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

my kids have them in school from preschool and they use them every day.
they think it is great- they do there maths exercice on it.
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Old 26.09.2011, 21:55
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

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Until you actually teach a class using one, you dont realise how much it makes your job easier and how much more likely kids are to respond to a lesson that uses one.
They really are quite worthwhile IMHO.
I actually challenge that. It depends on the classes and levels and subjects you are thinking of. I don't need to try it to know that a litterature class 10 months before Matura exam has no use for technical gadgets. I don't even really need old fashion boards for those classes either.
There are plenty of other contexts where I won't challenge your assomption though.
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Old 26.09.2011, 22:13
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

I'm starting to detect a trend here.

It seems that Maths teachers find the boards extremely useful, along with people teaching the younger year groups.

I can certainly understand the attraction to students under the age of 10, and I can see the benefits they can have helping to engage a class of 14 year olds in an Algebra lesson - do you still teach Algebra? LOL, but you get the idea.

What do other people do with them for, say, Years 7-11 and for other subjects?
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Old 26.09.2011, 22:16
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

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my kids have them in school from preschool and they use them every day.
they think it is great- they do there maths exercice on it.
Thing is, by the time they get to secondary school - they will be bored to tears with them - novelty very soon wears out. What next?
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  #26  
Old 26.09.2011, 22:23
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

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Thing is, by the time they get to secondary school - they will be bored to tears with them - novelty very soon wears out. What next?
Dancing girls and cocaine.

It's clear that we can't teach without gimmicks, excitement and entertainment, so why not take it to its logical conclusion?

... and fire all the teachers. Who needs the inspiration of the human voice, the book and the pen when you can have an interactive whiteboard, the internets and dancing girls?
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  #27  
Old 26.09.2011, 22:25
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

Well they would look good on the 'School brochure'- dad's will be flocking in to support their kids education at last (sorry, but they are usually far too busy..)
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  #28  
Old 26.09.2011, 22:28
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

Since there are IT people posting here, let me ask this: how does the service contract for these things work? Is it some sort of exclusive, proprietary agreement that forces the school to use the services of the device's producer, or can just anyone come in and fix it? Our school is tiny and has no tech people, so we would be 100% dependent on outside sources, with all the downtime that implies.

Also, what do you do when the thing breaks down and your lesson plans for the day are hopelessly, irretrievably lost in the Smartboard's inert guts?
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Old 26.09.2011, 22:32
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

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Also, what do you do when the thing breaks down and your lesson plans for the day are hopelessly, irretrievably lost in the Smartboard's inert guts?
Don't use the bloody things in the first place.

I never, ever, ever trust technology, whether that technology be the photocopier, my work email account, the printer or any of this newfangled whiteboard nonsense. I'll admit that I use it, but I will never rely upon it. If I ever plan a lesson that requires any of the items listed above, I always make alternative plans based upon the possibility of it failing on me.

It's the only way to be sure.

... and don't get me started on those "useful websites full of resources for teachers"...

All I can say is that learning my craft in a school where I had to knock on the door of the other classroom to ask to borrow the whiteboard marker stood me in very good stead for dealing with the technological chaos I face most mornings in 2011.
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  #30  
Old 26.09.2011, 22:33
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

Chalk: No lost 'on' button, no dead batteries, no shite software, no IT department needed.
No fancy white board is going to save your butt if your material sucks just as Powerpoint doesn't make business presentations better.
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  #31  
Old 26.09.2011, 23:06
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

Hi Helvetico, I shall try to answer your question regarding the problems which may arise with the boards.

I only have experience with two types of product, the SMART boards, and the Promethean boards. I currently work with Promethean boards and will give you my answers based on those.

There are basically three main parts to the system. The board, a projector and a computer. Promethean supply software for use with the boards, and this software allows the user to create interactive displays for use in a lesson.

In five years of use, I have yet to have an actual board fail. The worst I have seen is when it has been turned off or not detected by the computer, or someone has managed to un-calibrate it so the pen seems to react with the board several inches from where it actually is. These issues are usually fixable in minutes by someone who has a decent amount of common sense and some basic training on the product. However, even if the board failed totally, all that would happen is that the user would not be able to interact directly with the board. The display would still show, and the software would still run. Depending on how complicated you had made your presentation, and how interactive you had made it, it may still be possible to run the entire show from the computer.

Next up is the projector. Biggest issue here is the failure of the bulb. Obviously, once the bulb goes, you are back to text books and the chalkboard till it is replaced. Older style projectors will be ceiling mounted, and assuming someone on site is capable of replacing the bulb, and you have one in stock, it is about a 15 minute job to sort out. However, some of the more modern systems have the projectors fitted to the top of the boards in a "short throw" set up, and these bulbs can be easily replaced in minutes. Some really modern projectors now have LED projection, and these are supposed to last for considerably longer.

Finally, there is the computer side of it. In your case you would have to rely on whatever you currently do for tech support. None of the boards I have ever worked with would run without a pc, but I do not know if newer boards can be self contained. Promethean allow the software to be used by staff on personal devices, so you can create shows at home and bring them in on a usb device or by email.

So, if you had a system similar to the ones I use fitted, I would expect that you would take out some from of warranty and service deal with whomever you use to supply them. Depending on cost, you would get different levels of response time, ranging from a few hours to several days. It is quite usual to go for a "next working day" contract for devices such as this.

I guess this boils down to the projector being the most likely device to stop you from delivering your lesson. Apart from bulbs failing, I have had to replace several projectors over the years. In your position, unless still under warranty or contract, this would involve sourcing a suitable replacement and having it fitted. I would guess about a week to sort out. Note, the projector would need to be able to output the same size display at the same distance as the original, otherwise you would need to relocate all the mounts and cabling to the correct distance.

Finally, as we always used to say to our lecturers that complained when the network went down in my old job, "I trust you have a backup lesson ready and waiting to be used!"

I hope some of that makes sense, if you need anything clarified, please ask.
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  #32  
Old 27.09.2011, 17:53
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

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yeah - back to the slate and chalk - much cheaper and better- lol.
Being severely allergic to chalk, I much prefer whiteboards and markers.

Too bad I am an unfortunate combination of graphomania and clumsiness - meaning any use of the board on my part results in my hands stained with a rainbow of fiber pen ink.
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  #33  
Old 27.09.2011, 20:58
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Re: Why are interactive whiteboards all the rage in schools now?

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I actually challenge that. It depends on the classes and levels and subjects you are thinking of. I don't need to try it to know that a litterature class 10 months before Matura exam has no use for technical gadgets. I don't even really need old fashion boards for those classes either.
There are plenty of other contexts where I won't challenge your assomption though.
Its all relative. I am a primary school teacher and for 10 to 13 year olds I found that using such equipment in the classroom is quite productive, both for me and the kids. I have no idea how it is in high school, but with the grades I have taught using an IWB, there are like a bagillian different ways it could be used in what ever subject area. I am not saying all the time, but I would definitely count it an asset to a classroom.
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