Embracing classroom tech

Published 10:43 pm Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jemison Elementary School principal Louise Pitts was understandably excited about a gift Monday from state senator Hank Erwin.

“I thought it would be maybe $800, $1,000,” Pitts said after being handed a check for $5,000.

Erwin was able to donate the money through the state’s discretionary funds, and Pitts said the funds would be used to purchase Interwrite pads, which allow teachers to essentially write on the board at the front of the room while standing at the back of the room (or anywhere in the room, for that matter).

Arriving at the school earlier than Erwin, I was given a demonstration of the technology. A teacher uses a stylus to write on the pad, which transfers a remote signal to a projector so that the message is visible to the class.

The obvious benefit is that a teacher can write on the board without having his back to the class. The pad can also be passed around to allow individual students to work a problem or answer a question in front of the whole class—while the student is still in her desk.

While the demonstration made me feel a little old—are there no chalkboards anymore?—I was still glad to see local educators embracing technology.

If we can make learning easier and more engaging for students, then we must do so.