Science class gets high-tech with smart board

Chronicle Staff

Dr. Deborah Dowling, director of studies and physics teacher, will be utilizing new Sympodium “smart board” technology in her science classes for writing notes and merging whiteboard and computer based presentations together.

With a 17-inch smart board similar to the one at the library technology center at the Middle School and a stylus-like pen, teachers will be able to write, draw, highlight and comment in digital ink directly onto the tablet screen and project their work for class viewing.

“The teachers can record whatever they’re doing on the screen in conjunction with a slideshow in conjunction with class notes,” Narcisco Santiago of Computer Services, who also installed the technology, said.

“They could then take that digital video and put it on their website to make it available for students or even if a student misses class.”

Dowling requested funding for the smart board technology after seeing its benefits at a high school physics conference. Dowling is excited to use this “cool stuff.”

“I can erase my writing, change pen colors and basically do everything that I used to do on the white board, except now I’m writing on the Sympodium while I’m facing the class, instead of writing on the white board with my back to the class.”

Initially, only Dowling will be utilizing the technology to experiment with in her AP Physics B classes.

Once she feels comfortable with the technology, Dowling plans to invite teachers and students to play around with the new gadget.

If the Sympodium technology “proves successful, it may be used in all classrooms someday,” Director of Computer Services David Ruben said. In addition to the smart board, math teacher Jeffrey Snapp and the rest of the computer services department are working on software for a PC complete with a touch screen LCD monitor, a more efficient version of the smart board, Santiago said.

Later on in the year, Ruben plans on trying to use carts of laptops throughout the campus.

For now though, the smart board technology will have to pass through a trial period.