Technology has become an essential part of the classroom environment. iPads have allowed teachers and students alike to communicate and be creative in many new ways!However, technology can also take students away from face to face interactions that are crucial for social development. Enter the SMARTboard – a revolutionary piece of technology that allows for the best of both worlds! Woodway Elementary was the recipient of this grant which allowed every first grader (88 students) and their teachers (4) access to the SMARTboard. Nicole Grygar, the primary grant coordinator for this project, stated “Technology planned with the 4C’s (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity) in mind leads to a highly engaging learning environment that immerses our students in the standards”. The SMARTboard fits all of these categories. Due to its versatility, every standard can be taught on the board while being controlled through a teacher iPad. Weekly, teachers load the SMARTboard with creative activities to satisfy the lesson plans. The SMARTboard features a website teachers can subscribe to for access to a bank of premade lesson plans. Then the board travels from class to class due to its mobility!
During a trial run lesson, students were 100% engaged – an awesome feat! Two classrooms were able to work on the board simultaneously during the trial run. One reason for this accomplishment is the fact that multiple students are able to engage with the board at once. This eliminates the usual having to “wait your turn” time waster. Students not at the board can still be engaged using their personal iPad. The objectives of this grant included student engagement being no less than 90% when the SMARTboard was used in conjunction with iPads, and that at least 85% of students mastered standards taught using the SMARTboard. Another objective was that every SMARTboard lesson would incorporate one of the 4C’s. All of these objectives were accomplished after the grant was obtained. During the evaluation stage of the grant, student engagement rose from 85 to 100%. Speaking on the effects of the board, Nicole said “They love using the SMARTboard. They love using it to practice their skills, learn new skills, and play games to compete with their peers using their skills. They are always engaged and excited to learn when our class has the SMARTboard!”
This grant was named in honor of Brian Townley, ’88, Realtor with Paramount Realty and Management in gratitude for his generous support. We are so thankful for all of our donors who make these grants a reality!