District: ROBSTOWN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT Robstown, TX; a 3,500-student districtType Of Whiteboard: PolyVision (the 78-inch eno is $1,595. Pricing decreases for multiple quantities), www.polyvision.comWhy whiteboards?The goal was to enhance education through technology, says Fred Zamora, the former technology coordinator. “We wanted to gain the attention of the learner, and with a board, all eyes are on the instructor.”We chose these whiteboards because ...“PolyVision proved itself,” says Zamora. “They listened to our needs and promised to deliver as much staff development as we needed—for no charge. We didn’t have to make the product fit into our plan; PolyVision made a product that let us do what we needed to do.”What do you like about the whiteboards?“The boards are very well made, and the construction has been designed for longevity, which helps with technology budgets. The new eno board is supereasy to use and is practically indestructible.”What don’t you like about the whiteboards?“The board response was being confused by our teachers resting their hands on the board as they wrote, but the eno resolved that.”Have teachers integrated the whiteboards successfully?“The teachers recorded a 30 percent jump in test scores. I believe that was at least partly due to teachers using boards, as they amplify teacher instruction.”Any advice for schools that are considering whiteboards?Ask yourself: Will the product enhance education? Will the company provide free tech support? Is staff development provided free or at a nominal cost? How long is the warranty? What are the installation costs? Do teachers want the product?
District: ROOSEVELT SCHOOL DISTRICT 66 Phoenix, AZ; a 12,000-student districtType Of Whiteboard: Panasonic (the Panasonic Panaboard UB-8325 is $2,100), us.panasonic.comWhy whiteboards?Two years ago, the district modified its technology plan to integrate more technology, says IT director Stacey Hawkins. “Our limited amount of computers couldn’t reach everyone. Whiteboards give more of our kids the tech access they need.”We chose these whiteboards because ...Hawkins had tested whiteboards and found that some were too small and others were too easily damaged. “The Panasonic board is more durable,” he says. Hawkins also likes that the Panaboard is bundled with curriculum software that lets teachers create and share lessons.What do you like about the whiteboards?“The teachers love it. Each teacher gets to install the software at home, and they are using it. They use other interactive programs, too, and the teachers and students all love the stylus.”What don’t you like about the whiteboards?“The boards require some calibration, but it’s such a simple process that it really isn’t a problem,” says Hawkins.Have teachers integrated the whiteboards successfully?“Teachers started using them immediately, and I’m getting lots of great feedback.” He is especially pleased that teachers have requested licenses for online software to use in class.Any advice for schools that are considering whiteboards?“From an installation standpoint, if your infrastructure will allow it, go with a ceiling mount. It reduces the shadow, and the kids can’t play with it. Also, if you can afford to go with one in each class, it will improve your tech integration.”
District: EAST PENN SCHOOL DISTRICT Emmaus, PA; an 8,000-student districtType Of Whiteboard: Numonics (the Intelliboard 77 is $1,395), www.interactivewhiteboards.comWhy whiteboards?Michael Mohn, director of technology, says, “Whiteboards let teachers present anything that’s on their PC and engage a group of kids at once.”We chose these whiteboards because ...Mohn liked that more than one platform can be used with the Numonics boards and that he isn’t limited to a specific type of curricular content. “The personal touch went way beyond and was very impressive,” says Mohn.What do you like about the whiteboards?“Teachers can present a concept in two or three ways,” says Seidenberger. “With staff development, they can create terrific lessons.” Says Mohn, “Teachers can capture a lesson at the end and share it.”What don’t you like about the whiteboards?“Technology with all whiteboards is limited because you must project onto the board, which can cast a shadow,” says Mohn.Have teachers integrated the whiteboards successfully?“Every teacher is using them,” says Seidenberger. “We’re developing a district Web site where they can share ideas. There’s a lot of informal staff development, which we advocate for.”Any advice for schools that are considering whiteboards?Seidenberger says, “To use these to their potential, teachers need encouragement and guidance.” “The whiteboards must work seamlessly. For us, that means they’re always mounted, calibrated, and on,” says Mohn.
GENERAL-PURPOSE: Dukane’s model 8755J ($795) features 16-watt audio and a lamp life of up to 6,000 hours (when using the company’s “whisper” mode). It is a 2,200-lumen device featuring XGA resolution, inputs for component, S-Video, composite and RGB signals and digital keystone correction.SHORT-THROW: The 8763A ($1,595) is a moderate short-throw projector (throw ratio 1.0 to 1.2) used for schools. The 2,500- lumen projector offers XGA resolution, a lamp life of up to 3,000 hours and inputs for S-Video, composite, DVI and RGB.HIGH-DEFINITION: The 8303W ($1,345) high-definition (WXGA format) projector offers 2,500 lumens, a lamp life of up to 4,000 hours and inputs for S-Video, composite, RGB and DVI.
These interactive science lessons for grades three to five were designed to be used with interactive whiteboards. Teachers can use Aha!Science as either an introduction to a unit of study or a review of a unit. They can assign the activities in Aha!Science to help reinforce subject matter that was already taught.PROS: The interactive-whiteboard activities are engaging and meet national science standards. They’re simple enough that a teacher with a nonscience background can understand them, and most students will find them fun and appealing.CONS: None.OVERALL EVALUATION: Learning.com has a tradition of producing and acquiring excellent products, and the Aha!Science WhiteBoard is no exception. Like other products from the company, this one is truly standards-based.www.learning.comPrice: First 10 students, $110; every additional 5 students, $60 (learning.com)
The Dukane ImagePro 8755j Data Projector (www.dukcorp.com/av) is light (7.7 pounds) and easy to install and delivers 5,000 hours of lamp life or 6,000 hours in whisper mode. The 8755J also includes handy front-loading filter access and a 5,000-hour high-performance filter. New performance features include whiteboard and blackboard modes, a 16-watt speaker and instant on and off. The 8755J offers audio passthrough, so the sound system may be used to play CDs on the PC when projector is off.
Dukane Audio Visual (www.dukcorp.com/ audiovisual) released its Convey Solutions software, which enables schools to gather and analyze data on student progress as well as control all their audiovisual resources from a central location. The Convey product group includes the Convey AClick studentresponse system and Convey Enterprise 4.3 software, which allows schools to aggregate data and lets teachers share formative and summative assessment curricula to meet learning standards.
PINE VALLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Wilmington, NC; serving 560 K-5 studentsType Of Whiteboard: mimio (mimio Interactive: $549), www.mimio.comWhy whiteboards?“We had funding to catch up with other schools technologically, and learned through talking with them that whiteboards let you pull in from outside sources and use the Internet,” says second-grade teacher Tara Jarman.We chose these whiteboards because ...Jarman, who could buy only one board per grade, liked mimio’s affordability. The teachers needed to share boards, and Jarman found the mimios easily transferable between classes.What do you like about the whiteboards?Jarman has several students with ADD and learning disabilities. “Students love coming up to the board and being involved in the lessons. It is colorful and exciting, even for the kids who can’t read.”What don’t you like about the whiteboards?“That’s a hard question. There are a few more tools they could add to the gallery, but there is already a lot of stuff.”Have teachers integrated the whiteboards successfully?“They have. I have a monthly meeting with mimio teachers where we share ideas. We share lessons on our wiki, too. Teachers—even the older ones—tell me all the time what they’re doing.”Any advice for schools that are considering whiteboards?Jarman recommends using the training and resources the company provides. “Install the software on your home computer, so if you think of a lesson at night or on the weekend, you can work on it.”