Are You Using Them? Are Teachers In Your School?
Last spring I gave a series of talks on the West Coast, and in one school they were using Promethean Whiteboards. tinyurl.com/dfkgk7 At the time I didn’t even know what they were. And in class the one we used was a bit glitchy. But since then I have heard or more and more schools which have them. Does yours? The whiteboard is like a regular blackboard but it is also set up so you can project images from books or the web on it, and then work with the images — for example trace a route on a map, or blow up and image to look closely at a detail.
There was something a bit strange about being in a school that had this new technology in many classrooms just as the lunchroom discussion was of all the pink slips going out to teachers. The budget crunch has only gotten worse since then, so perhaps the spread of technology has slowed. Though I’ve often heard that towns with no money for libraries or salaries were able to find funding for computers. How is it where you live?
I am asking about this because Marina and I correcting pages of our book on the history of sugar. And I suddenly realized that teachers who have Whiteboards could make use of a whole level of our research that never made it into the book. Images in the book are in black and white. But many of the same, or similar, images are available in glorious color on the web. I’m making a list of those links to go somewhere — in the book, on a website. Just as I am compiling links to sound clips so people can hear sugar music. In other words — a book is that part of the research journey which is suited to print. But other stops along that journey may be more suited to classroom use on Whiteboards. I’d love to hear more about how teachers use them so that I/we/you can not only give them books to use but the whole spectrum of digital tools that we find as we do our original research.