High-tech teaching

Published 5:41 pm Friday, July 23, 2010

Some Fort Dale Students will notice a high-tech addition to their classrooms this fall.

Earlier this summer, the Fort Dale PTA voted to purchase six interactive whiteboard setups. Teachers gathered at the school Friday to receive their first instructional session on how to use the equipment.

Second-grade teacher Ann Blackmon said she was excited to see the whole process come full-circle.

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“We researched this equipment extensively to decide which one we want, but we finally got to play with it today,” Blackmon said. “The thing I am most excited about is that this type of technology will reach every child and all types of learners.”

As West Martin, representative for eInstruction, explained, these are far from the chalkboards many remember.

Each setup includes an Interwrite Dual-Board and an Elmo document camera that are ported through a computer, Martin explained. A short-throw projector displays a clickable image that is fully integrated with the classroom’s computer.

In the demonstration, Martin showed how the system essentially creates a touch screen whiteboard, one that teachers can write on and erase all with the click of a button.

One science classroom, Martin said, was outfitted with a special setup, a 100-inch widescreen board that utilizes multiple wireless tablets. This, he said, gives multiple students the ability to work from their desks while the teacher stays at the front of the classroom.

Fort Dale technology director and instructor Pat Skipper said she is always seeking new ways to help teachers do their jobs.

“We are pleased to help our school’s effort to utilize the newest technology,” Skipper said. “This gives our instructors yet another tool to help them in the classroom.”