From the Superintendent's Seat:
the Latest Educational Technology to the Classroom
We’ve all so used to computers in the classroom and at home,
that it was almost hard to believe that I’d be shown a new kind of computer
technology that would amaze me. But, this year, Syosset is using two new
educational tools that are sure to change the way we teach our children.
I walked into a math class at the high school one day and
immediately sensed a difference from most other math classes I see. For one,
just by observing for one or two minutes I realized that I could follow the
lesson. In all honesty, I haven’t taken high school math in a long time, and it
never was my favorite subject. But more importantly, the students were engaged,
interested, and clearly learning new material. I thought it must be an honors
class at least, but found out that was not the case. The difference was that
the teacher was using one of our SmartBoards.
A SmartBoard is essentially a large computer touch screen that
enables teachers and students to access information literally at the touch of
their fingertips. If you want to see last night’s homework, touch the screen
and it appears. What about last week’s lesson? Another touch and there it is.
Perhaps the teacher needs to draw a graph. Touch again and graph paper appears.
Students and teachers use different colored markers to write on the screen.
Another tap and it all disappears, able to be used over and over again.
I watched as the teacher touched the screen and a graphing
calculator large enough for the class to see, appeared on the screen. A student
came up to the board, touched the onscreen buttons, and the graph plotter moved
across the screen demonstrating the answer to the problem.
We’ve also been using the SmartBoards in our science classrooms,
and there again, teachers report that they are better able to explain difficult
concepts to their students. But
math and science are not the only subjects that are enhanced. In one of our middle
schools, a SmartBoard is located in a seventh grade math class. Another time of
the day a Health Education class uses the room, and also the SmartBoard. It can
make any lesson come alive to our current generation of computer savvy
The second innovation we are providing to our students is the
E-Book. A supplement to the classroom textbook, it eliminates the need for
students to bring home texts to do homework. They just access the book on the
Internet. They can do homework and also use extra help features such as
practice tests and reviews. If the
subject is world language, they can listen as many times as they want to the
correct pronunciation of vocabulary. Then they can record their own
pronunciation as many times as they need to, and when they feel it is their
best, they can then send it to their teacher for evaluation.
The future potential for both these tools is limitless.
Education must change and evolve with the rest of the world. We are seeing it
is Superintendent of Syosset Central School District.