Sneak a peek into Debra E. Mutch’s classroom during a math lesson and the giggles, gasps and oohs and aahs of her first graders will be hard to miss as they surround the latest addition to their classroom.
A Promethean Interactive Whiteboard, which was supplied by the DeKalb County Board of Education, was recently delivered not only to Mutch’s classroom at , but a majority of its first and second grade classes also received the latest version of this wall-sized touch-screen.
As a result, practically every Woodridge classroom now has one.
The high-tech whiteboards are the school’s latest atypical approach to educate in hopes of engaging the students in a new way. And, according to Principal Jeanette Roberts, it’s working.
“All the children are very excited about these boards. They are fun. Anything that you do that is fun and they learn at the same time is excellent.”
“My students were in awe when it first arrived. They could not believe that instead of seeing their favorite lessons on the little computer screen, they would now be big up on the wall,” Mutch said. “With the board, the students are actively moving and thinking. I think these boards will help the kids catch on a little bit quicker.”
With a remote control clicker or a special pen, the students can complete assignments, take quizzes and, basically, learn every subject through various programs on the whiteboard. As a result, pencils and paper are rarely brought out when these new instruments are in use.
There are a multitude of online resources and applications that teachers can download using their Promethean, such as a math program reminiscent of a Super Mario Brothers game that teaches younger children about picture graphs.
So, the whiteboards are not only a creative way to expand a lesson, but they also differentiate the way Woodridge’s teachers teach, Roberts said.
“You are able to cover a wider range of activities. While some students work in groups on the board, others can get more one-on-one time with me. I think it is a really good asset to have in the classroom,” Mutch said.
While the students are discovering new ways to learn, teachers are seeing how the whiteboards can benefit them, too.
For example, the whiteboards can save teachers time when it comes to calculating students’ grades, which may add minutes to the day for covering other objectives, Mutch said.
“When the children take quizzes using the board, they will have the remote control clicker and the teacher will post a quiz. A question will come up and you can choose A, B, C, or D, and the clicker will be attached to the student, so you can immediately see how well they did,” said Roberts.
This contemporary teaching tool is just the beginning for Woodridge in its effort to create a student body that can use all types of up-to-date technology with ease.
“I am looking at incorporating more and more technology into our school day,” Roberts said. “That way, our kids can be right up there with the media world so to speak.”