By Thurman Truong ’16
Smartboards have facilitated teaching ever since their application into the curriculum. Every year, the Smartboards are updated and maintained. Software-wise, the most recent update is Smart Notes 14.3, which will be effective immediately once teachers receive the code.
The update includes a website with tools that aid teachers and students alike.
“Each teacher can log into a site that will have videos about how to use Smart tools, cameras, laptops and iPads in the classroom,” said Dr. Ernest Pysher. “Teachers can post homework and class notes at this SMART amp site. Students will get a password and access code for each class that will allow them to see both the homework assignment and the Smartboard work in that day’s class.”
SMART amp is collaborative learning software aimed to specifically target the students who use it, adapting to the their learning behaviors and individualized means of assessment. This allows teachers to grade the students based on performance, regardless of how they learn. The technology was developed to counteract the already available technologies in classrooms such as computers and mobile devices, which according to SMART Classroom’s advertisement, exist to “sell devices, not to help students learn and collaborate effectively.” In addition, the website can be accessed by any modern browser, allowing entire classes to indulge in presentations and workspaces.
In addition to the Smartboards themselves, the computers that assist them will also undergo a change. Since the beginning of regent’s week, every computer in the school has Deep Freeze installed, a process that prevents viruses by maintaining the original configuration.
The old Dell computers were placed in the library and room 253, equipped with only the basic necessities of Internet, Microsoft Office, and printing services. Assisted by Neverware, these computers are designated to only perform these tasks and nothing else.
Computers are upgraded on a yearly basis and the implementation of Lenovo computers has been progressing.
“We still have a few HP computers that will be upgraded in the next few weeks,” said Dr. Pysher.