When Christa Burch gives a quiz, pen and paper no longer are required.
Instead, the Math 1 teacher at Lakeside High School gives her students remote control devices to deliver their answers onto her Promethean interactive whiteboard.
"You can get an immediate response, tally and quickly check whether or not they understand a concept and whether or not we need to review," Burch said.
Promethean boards and a similar product called a SMART Board are prevalent in Columbia County classrooms and quickly are making blackboards and chalk extinct.
"Think of it as an interactive video screen using an overhead projector hooked up to a computer," Columbia County schools Director of Technology James Van Meter said of the interactive Whiteboards. "It basically senses wherever you're touching on the board. You can write, draw, work out problems onto the board, and what you're doing is relayed back to the computer."
With a Whiteboard, teachers can use Web sites to download animation, photographs, videos, music and whatever else they deem necessary for their instruction.
Van Meter's wife, Christy, teaches sixth-grade language arts at Riverside Middle School. In her classes, when she is teaching poetry, she often projects song lyrics and videos downloaded from the Web using a SMART Board.
"When you're engaging sixth-graders, streaming music and highlighting lyrics, it can be a revelation for them to see how often they use poetry every day," Van Meter said.
The Columbia County school system owns 280 of the Promethean boards and 290 of the SMART Boards, which are used by about half of the teachers in the system, mostly in elementary and middle grades.
The interactive Whiteboards cost about $2,000 each, and the necessary LCD projectors cost about $700, Van Meter said.
By the start of the school year, all Columbia County classrooms will be equipped with LCD projectors.
Elementary and middle school classrooms already have the projectors.
It is up to individual schools to purchase the Whiteboard technology using principals' accounts, donations or grants.
Burch sometimes uses her Promethean board to generate class discussions. Often, when teaching functions, she will display a graphing calculator, table values and an equation onto a screen.
"They (the pupils) can see the relationship between these different things all at one time and how they connect to each other," she said. "You can talk about it, do hands-on activities and visualize it at the same time."
In addition to remote controls, pupils can use computer-linked pens to write onto screens, or ball mouses to draw and further engage them in their lessons, Van Meter said.
"Anything you can do on a computer, you can do interactively on a SmartBoard," he said. "It has increased class participation tenfold."
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