New SMART Boards prompt questions about appearance vs. necessity

New SMART Boards prompt questions about appearance vs. necessity

By: Kayla Sirlin ’19

The installation of 6000 series model SMART Boards in math and science classrooms, starting the week of May 1, has elicited strong reactions from both students and teachers alike. While some question the purpose of this new technology, others are pleased by the advances led by the district.

In terms of the reasoning behind this change, Principal James D’Amico explained, “All of the technology we have in the building, including SMART Boards, is on a replacement cycle, because technology eventually dies out. Most of the SMART Boards in the building now are 10 years or older, so it is time for them to be replaced.”

The majority of the changes are occurring on the third floor of the building. D’Amico elaborated on this particular location, saying that “they will be replaced over time, depending on when they were originally installed. The math department was the first department to have the new technology, so these are the first ones you’ll see replaced.”

 

Although change is necessary in the eyes of D’Amico, Mili Cattan ’19 has an alternative point of view. She commented the old and new models were too similar.   “I was fine with the old SMART Boards, so I don’t understand why we got new ones. They serve the same purpose.”

The new boards still have touchscreen monitors, however the manual eraser tool was eliminated by combining it onto the back of pens. Additionally, 2 pen colors were cut from the new model, leaving only red and black as options.

According to the SMART Board website, other noted changes includes an embedded computer that “ offers one-touch access to collaboration tools, like the built-in web browser and wireless screen sharing.” Tools such as web browsing and screen sharing allow a more visual classroom experience for students, and can serve as methods to deepen understanding of the curriculum.

These changes do not drastically affect the user experience, however, teachers will receive training on the new technology on May 11 and 25.  

“Once everyone gets used to the new SMART Boards, I think they will work great,” Emily Pozzuto ’19 said. “It definitely takes some transition time, but they seem super high-tech.”

The technology department at Staples predicts that the new SMART Boards will have better projection that ultimately aid students in learning, hence the change.