His students read the projected question — which were about plants— and turned to their remotes to select one of the multiple-choice answers using a keypad. As they did so, a shrinking list on the side of the board showed the names of students who had not yet responded.
With the answers in, de Bruijn tapped the board to pull up a bar graph showing that most of the class had gotten the answer wrong.
“This is good,” he said. “Now I can stop because we need to go over this.”
De Bruijn is using the smart board on a four-month free trial from SMART Technologies, although he hopes the school is able to purchase the $2,000 product when the trial expires, he said.
He uses it as a new, high-tech approach to hands-on learning, drawing circles to highlight specific details and calling on students to come to the board to answer questions.
Bianca Panosian, 12, was one of the students called to the front of the class to help label a diagram of key plant components.
She tapped on the word “stomata” from a list at the bottom of the projection and dragged it over to an empty space on the diagram, which pointed to the plant part responsible for taking in carbon dioxide.
“Nice work,” de Bruijn said.
The board is a new way to engage students, and it’s exciting to many of the pre-teens, who are familiar with playing video games, working with computers and using other high-tech gadgets, he said.
“I think that they like seeing it in the classroom,” he said. “And they like seeing that I know how to use it.”
The board and the remotes, which de Bruijn called “clickers,” also made the class fun, students said.