New Technology Enhances Classroom Instruction
By Michael Babler,??Director of Instructional Technology
During the summer months, teachers and school staff members process through long to-do lists to prepare for the next school year. ??But students at Divine Savior Academy were treated to more than just a fresh coat of paint in their classrooms this year. ??Ten classrooms were outfitted with new SMARTboards this August. ??In the initial rollout of a multi-phase program, six second and third grade classrooms received this new technology, while boards were also installed in four math and science classrooms in the high school.
???The classrooms that were chosen for our first phase had obvious connections to the technology. ??There are endless resources and opportunities for integration at the younger grade levels, and our second phase will roll out the boards to the middle elementary grades next year,??? said Phil Kurbis, Middle School Technology Teacher and SMARTboard project coordinator.
SMART Technologies, the maker of the SMARTboard, has been producing interactive whiteboards for a number of years, and is a market leader in education. ??Their product was chosen after a multi-week comparison trial by the classroom teachers who would be making use of the technology. ??They found that the ease of use and superior quality of the SMARTboard and its accompanying software would provide an easier transition in the update of their classrooms.
The product that was chosen for Divine Savior Academy is SMART???s newest line of interactive flat panels. ??Less like a whiteboard, and more like a TV, this 65 inch screen provides multi-touch interactive space for teachers and students to collaborate.
A number of research studies have proven the benefits of interactive presentation technologies, like the SMARTboards. ??Students are more engaged and motivated to learn, and teachers??? instructional practice shifts from presentation to interaction, making lessons more student-centered.
But beyond the research and technicalities, teachers also like using the boards. ?????The SMARTboard has made teaching Science more enjoyable. ??Our STEM classes, for instance, are all about making things work together with a focus on design – the interactivity of the boards are a great way to enhance student understanding of these abstract concepts,??? said Kristina Troge, Science Department Chair and STEM teacher.
And students are still excited by this new technology, too. ??Maya, a second grader at Divine Savior said, ???We use the board in every class. ??Sometimes we do sorting with it, and I really like to write on it. ??It???s a lot of fun!???
Divine Savior Academy is a Christian academy dedicated to excellence. With campuses in Doral and Delray Beach, the school is part of one of the largest private school systems in the country and has over 165 years of educational experience. Divine Savior serves students in preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school with college-prep academics in a Christian environment. To schedule a private tour, visit DivineSaviorAcademy.com.??