Just What is a Promethean Board Anyway?

Well for Bart, and others who may not know, a Promethean Board is an interactive whiteboard that allows you to project an image from a laptop or computer. You can also interact with the board through touch or specialized pens. Anything that can be done on a computer monitor can be replicated on this interactive whiteboard, which then becomes viewable by an entire classroom. In other words, it would only take Bart just one written sentence, a copy and paste, and nine more clicks to replicate the above assignment.

According to the NEA, “research has repeatedly demonstrated that students learn better when they are fully engaged, and that multi-sensory, hands-on learning is the best way to engage them… a new emphasis on developing twenty-first-century skills for students, the requirement for educator proficiency in technology, and research documenting increased learning with the use of interactive whiteboards have spurred (their) adoption.”

Classroom applications for using interactive whiteboards include:

  • Multimedia lessons and presentations including audio and video
  • Collaborative problem solving
  • Showcasing student projects and presentations
  • Virtual field trips
  • Recorded lessons that can be used by substitute teachers, and
  • Documentation of student achievement

I recently sat down with two of the teachers at WCHS, to ask their opinions of the Promethean Boards and to share examples of how they used it in their classrooms. First, I spoke with Mrs. Ratz, who teaches ninth-grade English, Yearbook, Theatre, and TV Production:

“I think they (the students) pay a little more attention… it’s easier for them to take notes while I’m taking notes on the board myself…it’s a lot easier for me to help students with accommodations as… I can just press print, or I can easily give them whatever slideshow I made, or whatever. In connection with my teaching … it is really easy to…always be able to just show a clip about…whatever we’re talking about. You know, we were talking about enunciation in class, and I’m like, ‘Oh, remember that Friends episode? Let’s watch Joey spit all over people!’ Right? So it’s just so easy to…use the Promethean Board to do that.”

I also took the time to ask Mr. Clark—who teaches AP Comparative Government and APNSL—the same questions:

“As teachers, we’re supposed to incorporate technology and stay up-to-date on everything, and we always want to keep the students interested in the class, so we use whatever latest technology is out there…whatever works for a teenage mind. We just want to keep them on task…In the Social Studies department—particularly in my class, Government—we talk a lot about current events and we want to bring up the news, or we have to go to a certain website and bring up an article, it’s right there, instead of having to print out the article, go to the copy machine, and hand out the article. It saves a lot of paper, too.”

Over the course of almost five years and through the contributions of our generous donors, at a cost of nearly $37,000, the Foundation has been able to purchase 12 Promethean Boards for Churchill, including the 3 purchased this last summer for our current school year.

 

Contributed by Mary Lankester, Board Member, and Laura DeMarco, Class of 2018