Board members see demonstration of new technology used in classrooms across Clay County

 

By KEVIN DONALDSON

 

CELINA-School board members got a glimpse of the latest technology being used in Clay County classrooms after their November meeting at Clay County High School. 

 

Teachers gave board members and other school officials a demonstration on one of 14 Smart Boards being used in classrooms across the county.

 

Long gone are the days of chalk boards and taking erasers outside to beat the chalk out of them, which many of us remember fondly. In fact, the days of using white (or dry erase) boards, overhead projectors, video or other media appear to be coming to an end.

 

Those old-fashioned modes of communication are quickly being replaced by the latest technology, and in several Clay County classrooms, that technology is the Smart Board.

 

The Smart Board is basically an interactive whiteboard, which the high-tech world says combines “a computer with the simplicity of a white board” through digital projection. 

 

PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT

HIGH TECH-Clay County High English teacher James Franklin writes over an assignment projected onto one of 14 Smart Boards used in classrooms across the county. See more photos below. (Staff photo by Kevin Donaldson)

 

Touch screen technology

 

One of the most striking features of the Smart Board is the touch screen technology. The large screen allows teachers and students to use their fingers in the same way as a mouse on a computer screen. Any feature you have on the large screen (and it is quite large, as the photos here show) can be controlled by touch.

 

Instructors can navigate through the internet or prepared lesson plans with the touch of a finger. 

 

Many of us were introduced to this eye-catching technology during the 2008 November election, when TV commentators moved states, charts and other election results around the screens with the whisk of a hand. 

 

The screens can also be manipulated from the teacher’s desktop computer, where lesson plans can be typed and formatted. A keyboard can also be called up on the big screen and used there.

 

White board features

 

The Smart Boards can also be used as a tradition white (dry erase) boards. You can remove a pen from the board console and write on it using that pen or your finger, and can erase any of that by picking up the eraser from the console. 

 

You can write (or erase) over the top of a lesson plan or any other application on the screen, and unlike a non-electronic white board, you have unlimited space. If you fill the screen, you can save the image (where it can be viewed  in a smaller, thumbnail version at the side of the screen) and move on to another screen. 

 

The board also recognizes handwriting, which can be converted to a typeface if desired. 

 

CCHS teacher Richard Franklin demonstrated an interesting exercise: dissecting a frog from an online application. The skin on the image can be cut, peeled back and pinned in place, along with other manipulations, with the touch of a finger in the appropriate places. It’s quite a bit more sanitary than the old-fashioned method using frogs preserved with a formaldehyde mixture. 

CCHS teachers James Franklin, Jessica Thompson and Jennifer Lynn were also involved in demonstrations in their fields. 

 

School officials said they are looking to add to the 14 Smart Boards, located in each of the four county schools, as funding allows. 

 

Other action at the meeting

 

In other action at the November meeting, the board:

 

• approved textbook adoption committees for English Language Arts, English as a Second Language, Communication Skills and Foreign Language,

 

• approved trips to the annual Junior Beta Convention in Nashville for both the Celina K-8 and Hermitage Springs clubs,

 

• approved on first vote an amendment to a school board corporal punishment policy, removing two lines,

 

• OKed the “offer vs. serve” policy on second reading, and

 

• recognized the award winners in the “Soaring Eagle Question contest,” which included several CCHS students (details in last week’s HORIZON).

 

 

SMART BOARDS-Clay County High teacher Richard Franklin dissects a virtual frog using the new Smart Board technology recently installed in 14 county classrooms, while (below) quiz answers are displayed in another application. (Staff photos by Kevin Donaldson)

SMART BOARDS-Clay County High teacher Richard Franklin dissects a virtual frog using the new Smart Board technology recently installed in 14 county classrooms, while (below) quiz answers are displayed in another application. (Staff photos by Kevin Donaldson)

QUIZ