Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I had a Smartboard installed in my class a week ago. Before I get into too much detail I should mention that I've been using a Smartboard on wheels for the past month so it's not as though last week's addition totally changed they way that I do business. I must say that what I like most about having an interactive white-board is having a projector permanently mounted in my classroom. Now if I want to show a quick video or do a quick demonstration I just turn on the projector and I'm in business. Before it was such as hassle (I could go on in depth about the hassle but will spare you the details) that I often decided that the gain wasn't worth the effort.

I think that the interactive white-board is a very neat idea but I'm not entirely sure it's good bang for the buck. Yes my students love coming up to the board to use it. Will the novelty wear off? I'm guessing probably. Yes it's great to be able to capture everything I've done in my lesson, export it as a PDF and upload it to Moodle for students to view. Is it worth the expense? Time will tell.

There are other companies that make interactive white-boards and devices that turn a regular white-board into an interactive white-board.  Mimio is one of those companies. For the price of my Smartboard (and the installation) we could have purchased almost three Mimio systems. Don't get me wrong I do like having a Smartboard but I feel guilty that my colleagues don't have one. I have extended an open invitation to my colleagues to kick me out of my room so that they can use the technology with their classes.

 As a side note we had four teachers in from a neighbouring district to see how our school is using Smartboards and Moodle. They are looking at using both technologies and wanted to learn from our experience. They were very curious about the details of Moodle and to learn all of the ways it could be used. It's great to be able to collaborate like this. Thanks for coming guys.


  1. Great idea to have a blog like this, Dave. I'll check it frequently (though perhaps not as frequently as liamspad??)

    Glad to hear you now have a smartboard - sure is eons advanced from my overhead projector!!


  2. I've just got here from Dan Meyer's blog, I'm also a Math teacher (but from Spain, btw) and I have to agree completely with you.I don't find many teachers concerned with the uses of technologies the way you are, I think that interactive boards can be used as tools, they aren't the goal of our class work. So far I only have taken advantage of the boards in some function lessons. In Algebra they were more an issue than a profit.

  3. Coquejj,

    Thanks for reading. It's great to see that teachers from around the world can connect like this. I love using technology, but there has to be some benefit. I don't like the idea of using technology just for the sake of it.

    The interactive whiteboard is great for geometry and functions. I've used Geogebra in both areas. I think students get a really good understanding of the concepts when they can manipulate the math.

    As you say algebra is tough to justify using an interactive board for. I do however use it to record my notes and upload them to Moodle.

  4. The best part of the interactive whiteboard, for my money, is the ability to save my notes right on top of what was projected, allowing folks to "rewind" the lesson to something from ten minutes ago, or to compare this problem and its notes with that one and its notes.

    Unfortunately, the only IWBs in my building are broken or being used as projector screens by faculty in other departments. Bleah.

  5. @Curmudgeon: I agree that the biggest bang for your buck with a IWB is the ability to record your lessons. It drives me crazy to see IWBs used only to show movies and do attendance with. Don't get me wrong, having a projector in a classroom is great but there are cheaper ways to do that than installing IWBs. Besides there are other teachers just itching to get their hands on an IWB and they would actually use it as intended.