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Interactive whiteboards promote collaboration, discipline

With more than 63,000 students enrolled at more than 100 schools, Mobile County Public Schools (MCPS) is the largest district in Alabama and the 50th largest district in the United States. With that many students, it's understandable that student boredom, distraction and behavior might be ongoing concerns for educators. What's perhaps surprising is that improvements in both these areas followed the introduction of SMART products to the schools. According to one senior official, since the district began using SMART products, it's seen an increase in student attentiveness and a significant decrease in discipline problems.

“Having SMART products in the classrooms has really changed the face of how we do things,” says David K. Akridge, executive manager of IT services at MCPS. “Teachers are elated to be receiving their own SMART Board, and students are collaborating and using the technology to enhance day-to-day activities.”

MCPS first introduced SMART Board interactive whiteboards to its classrooms in 1996 and in the 2007–08 school year began a district-wide campaign to install an interactive whiteboard in every classroom. Today, MCPS has more than 1,500 SMART Board interactive whiteboards, 500 SMART Document Cameras, 200 AirLiner wireless slates (now called the SMART Slate wireless slate) and 300 SMART Response interactive response systems, and is committed to adding more SMART products to its classrooms.