Classroom Reboot

New Promethean TVs change the view in NASH classes

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Classroom Reboot

photo by Michael Taffe

photo by Michael Taffe

photo by Michael Taffe

George Ivory

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Technology is now a constant presence in the educational system, especially at North Allegheny. Every year, the district introduces innovative devices for teachers to better engage their students. For the 2018-2019 school year, NASH classrooms have received new and improved versions of the older Promethean boards.

But with this change, teachers must learn the new and technologically advanced features that the boards have to offer.

The layout of the new boards is relatively the same as the previous ones. However, the ActivPanel boards operate in a different manner. The previous boards made the person use a specific pen and eraser in order to write, erase, and navigate the board. With the new boards, students and teachers have the ability to do all of this with their own hands. 

You have to take time to get used to the new TVs, but they can definitely enhance how teachers do presentations.”

— Mrs. Miller

“I like the board,” Mr. Harrell said. “I think it’s an improvement of the old board and projector setup. I look forward to possibly seeing wireless boards.”

The boards offer an updated screen, improving both touch responses and graphic quality, which can help students who found it difficult to learn from the previous boards. 

Another additional feature to the boards are enhanced speakers. Teachers can now play audio, loud and clear, without having to connect separate speakers to the board. Enhanced audio makes educational videos, power points, lessons, and class related material more interactive and engaging.

One feature the new boards offer that teachers use quite often is the freeze button, allowing teachers to “freeze” whatever is  on the board when the button is pressed. Teachers can now do whatever they want on their computer while a certain screen is presented to help the students. 

Additionally, wireless set-top boxes are expected to be installed in October and will allow teachers to create move throughout the classroom while controlling the screen.

“I think the new TVs are working really well,” AP Psychology teacher Mr. Schall said. “There’s a lot you can do with presentations and other programs.”

Even with all of their advanced technological features, the boards have presented some frustration. Teachers, at times, have found the new devices to be a little too sensitive. Some teachers have said that slight contact with the board can prompt the teacher to write something. At times, however, when teachers go to press the pen or eraser in ActivInspire, the board will not register that it was touched. 

Other issues teachers and students can run into with the boards involve the pen and eraser. Even though the board’s writing and erasing functions can be controlled by the teacher’s hand, the board still comes with an eraser and pen. These accessories resemble the older pen and eraser found on the older boards. While they work most of the time, some teachers feel the accessories could still malfunction. 

Yet the NASH faculty is focusing on the positives.

“I think the TVs are pretty cool,” Mrs. Miller said. “They have a lot of capabilities.  You have to take time to get used to them, but they can definitely enhance how teachers do presentations.”

Though it may take time to fully master them, the boards promise to improve the educational experience of the student body. 

“I feel like the boards are a great upgrade and change,” Mrs. Failla said. “I’ll be interested to see the final product and how it can improve instruction once everything is fully functional.”