Why upgrading to SmartBoards could be beneficial to classrooms
Several schools still use the traditional whiteboard or chalkboard, but they may not be aware of the advantages that they can gain by upgrading to digital boards. Both teachers and students would have easier classroom experiences with the SmartBoard.
Lisa Buyer defines SmartBoards as “a wall mounted white-board that merges the familiar blackboard concept with data retrieval, information sharing and storage attributes of a computer.” With it, teachers are able to move their text around without a hassle, nor restriction to board space, and easily edit or delete their writings on the board. Imagine sitting in class, furiously taking notes of what your instructor is writing on the board, but he is going too fast for you and erasing things that you may have missed. The SmartBoard would help in that case as you could ask the teacher to scroll up to what they have previously written. Teachers will also be able to save their work so that they could send it to students to review after class.
Teachers are also able to project images and typed documents onto the SmartBoard and write on top of them, as shown in the image above. This could make the flow of the class smoother and faster because teachers would not have to drawing and writing everything by hand.
Buyer states that the “Smartboard has helped to develop visual learners, while supporting aural and logical thinkers.” This is an important concept to keep in mind as students in a classroom have different ways of learning. The SmartBoard can share information through visual and aural ways, which accommodates for multiple learning techniques, and ensure that students understand what they are learning, and more importantly, enjoy it.
However, there are also a couple of downsides to having SmartBoards in classrooms. One of them is the high cost of each board. Just one SmartBoard can cost thousand of dollars which could accumulate to an exceedingly large amount for multiple classrooms. Institutions then have to decide which classrooms would need a SmartBoard as it would not be feasible to install one in every room. There would also be a trade-off between spending a large amount of money on these digital boards or on other important costs for the school.
Another downside of having SmartBoards in classrooms is the technical difficulties it could cause. First of all, instructors who have little experience with technology would have to go through some training to be able to use the SmartBoard to teach their class. Even with some training, it is not guaranteed that the SmartBoard will function perfectly without any glitches. When I was in high school, a handful of my teachers would struggle with calibrating the SmartBoard because the projector would get moved around constantly. The lack of maintenance and updating of the software could lead to delays and pauses in lectures as well.