Herkimer teacher excels with SMART Board

As if more evidence were needed that SMART Board technologies, such as those provided by audio visual specialists Advanced Education, are having a dramatically positive impact on the education sector, read the following account of events from Herkimer Junior-Senior High School, NY, USA.

SMART Board technology at Herkimer Junior-Senior High School, NY, USASeventh-grader Chelsie Cotton stood in front of a giant flat-screen monitor at Herkimer Junior-Senior High School Tuesday and her teacher asked if she knew the right science term.

Cotton, 12, without hesitating touched the screen, picking the word protein from a list and by dragging her finger across the screen she filled in a blank line at the end of a sentence with the term.

After alternating the process with classmate Jordan Bauder, 12, several more times, their teacher, Susan Hayes-Manning, asked: “Drag the slide and let’s see how you did.”

Bauder with another touch of the screen dragged the answer sheet across the  quiz, revealing that all the terms were correct.

“Did you think you had them all right,” Hayes-Manning asked.

Smiling, both kids laughed and admitted they had their doubts. But when asked what they thought about the touch-screen lesson, made possible through SMART Board technology, both responded confidently. “It’s fun,” they said.

This kind of student involvement is exactly what Hayes-Manning strives for when developing lesson plans, and her success in reaching this goal recently gained recognition regionally.

Hayes-Manning was recognized by the Mohawk Regional Information Center’s Model School Program at the fifth annual T.H.E. Symposium at Utica College last week for her usage of SMART boards in the classroom. She and three other teachers were given the Award for Excellence in Technology Integration for their respective regions.

“I was overwhelmed, happy, shocked,” said Hayes-Manning.

Teachers in the Herkimer Central School District had the option to learn about SMART boards about two years ago. Hayes-Manning said she was excited to learn about it and shared a portable one with other teachers in her school until she got her own in December 2008. The SMART Board works as an interactive chalkboard where teachers can draw up a lesson plan, exercises and even post videos related to the subject being studied. Hayes-Manning said she can use them for several topics, including math, writing and even brainstorming.

“It takes hours and hours of planning and getting the material and figuring out what you’re going to do. I’m very passionate about it,” she said.

SMART boards have become a popular form of technology in the classroom, she said, with about 15 to 20 other teachers using the boards in both the high school and elementary school.

Hayes-Manning, a resource teacher for the past 15 years, said this kind of interactive teaching helps students with special needs.

“It’s a more involved learning process,” she said. “It’s not just sitting and listening to a lecture.”

Hayes-Manning also said this technology also allows for her to adapt to each student’s learning style – where some may learn better visually, others learn better by sound.

Heather Caufman, a representative for the Mohawk Regional Information Center, said in an e-mail that Hayes-Manning “has implemented several regional professional development workshops which have helped encourage teachers from 52 area school districts to consider new and innovative ways to improve student learning and achievement.”

Caufman said anyone from either of the school districts they represent can nominate teachers they feel “demonstrate leadership in the area of technology integration.” The other teachers to receive the award were Alicia Iannettoni, from the Oneida City Central School District, Mary Blow, of the Lowville Academy and Central School District and Lisa Davis, of the Oriskany Central School District.
Hayes-Manning said she was glad the hard work is being recognized.

“The pay-off is that the students are becoming more active participants in their learning,” she said. “And the more active they are, they are going to be more successful.”

For more information on how SMART Board technology can provide real benefit to your educational establishment, contact Advanced Education now or call us TOLL FREE at 1-800-436-6239.

Source: Herkimer Telegram

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