Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Interactive White Boards (IWB's) are coming

Last week I got to go check out the newly installed Promethean Boards at MBHS. I took pictures.  Generally I like this version better than what the IT department was putting in Math classrooms last year.

For one thing these are "portable". The stand can be moved several feet, but remains limited by the umbilical cord that connects it to the wall. This means you may be able to adjust the angle to the wall, helpful in our wedge shaped rooms in the 800.  
Another improvement is that the projector only extends about 15 inches out from the board. Much more compact and possible only because of a cool convex mirror system.

Also they look cooler. Note the nifty dark gray border with built in speakers, redundant to the sound system for the classroom, but still good backup speakers.

Note too the large platform at the bottom. I'm a little worried about tripping on that.
The silver lining of the bottom platform is (almost literally) the drawer built into it that you can use to stash secret teacher things like cables. It even has a lock.





The actual board is still going to be about 12 inches from the wall.  This creates "shadow" areas on either sides of the board that students can't see. For example students sitting on the right side of your room can't see the wall for several feet on the left of the board and vice versa. It's a problem.



The image at MBHS is still too small. Note the dark areas where the projection does not fill the board.  Supposedly that is a software problem with the projector that Promethean is coming back to fix for them. Hopefully that means we won't see it.


A big thanks to the English teachers at MBHS, and Doug McIntosh for letting me come visit with my camera. And also thanks to Dave Kootman from Promethean who showed us the basics of using the software for an English class.