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Open discussions on Smartboards and their application at Delhi.

The goal of this page is to create a forum for sharing information about Smartboards (what they are, how they work, features available, differences in models, etc.) and how they are used (in class like blackboards, to capture lessons, to distribute lessons, etc.). In addition, we hope that those who visit the page, will add information in order to better define the functionality and features.

Please feel free to add your thoughts to the comments below. Ideally those participating should contribute a story that conveys how they would use a Smartboard, both in the class and then later to distribute information. Once we have a better idea of how the campus will use the boards (a process know as functional requirements gathering) CIS will be in better position to identify a specific brand and model and determine the support requirements for installation and maintenance.

An simple example of a user story could be:

I teach a computer science course in software development. We do several modules on logic and information flow. I would love to be able to illustrate decision trees in a flow chart in front of the class then publish that work to students as an attachment to a course email or in Vancko Hall. 

 I teach mathematics courses.  In Contemporary Math we do two chapters on graph theory.  It would be great to have the graphs available, be able to draw on them and add to them, and then publish that work to Vancko Hall for students who either missed the class or need a refresher.  It would also be great to be able to start over for the next class (especially when you teach 3 sections of it) without wasting paper and trying to draw on the graphs using the Elmo.  This would also be great for graphing in College Algebra or Precalculus classes.  I can also see applications in Statistics in doing hypothesis testing and shading in the Normal Curve. 

 The biggest issue in teaching mathematics online is being able to "type" mathematical equations.  This would be an easy way to get math online.

Here are some comments that have been forwarded to me so far...

Monica Liddle
Hello Everyone, I have seen these used and they are great! They are not new, they have been around for at least ten years. Many schools and BOCES centers used them. I would use this technology in my classes if we had it here on campus. They are not difficult to use. Thanks! Doug M.    
Sympodium and SMART board are variations on a theme by the same manufacturer.  This type of product is as old as the hills.  Both the large colleges where I have taught have used them successfully.  It would seem to be a wise investment to make down the road.

Again, a large concern for students and teachers here alike: computers do not meet recommended hardware specifications for graphics software, particularly for 3d Studio Max and Revit (which is poised to be the next industry standard).   Shouldn't the technology brokers take a look at that situation?   It seems like the proverbial "no-brainer"...maintain what you have before getting new tools.

Necessary: Duo-cores, 4gb RAM, and workstation class video cards.  One setup per student.

Another solution would be to hire an IT teaching assistant to repair computers as they inevitably crash during design graphics classes.  That way the instructor would be freed up to teach.

We (Arch's/school planners) have been specifying smart boards in 90%+ of new proposed classrooms across the state from high school on up.but it would make SUNY/DELHI existing classroom 'cabinet system' obsolete.so if the Sympodium, is less expensive than the whole system 'smartboard'(they are not outrageous in price) then its a good compromise. If not less expensive, then as each cabinet needs replacement then going 'smartboard' for that room would be great.zis
 Ms Z. I. Sanchez, Architect
Monica mentioned this to me last week.  I think it would be a huge asset for lectures.  Count the CADD department in.
Mike Miller
  
I requested a Smartboard two years ago after playing with one in my wife's classroom at Delaware Academy.  Very powerful and user friendly.  Great for graphics, internet, math...you name it.  Finger-touch drawing is fantastic.

Please keep me in mind for my blueprint reading and drawing course. 

Thanks,

John Taylor

I have no experience with the smartboard, but from what I can glean from the web site and what others tell me, this is a great teaching aid.  Michael Noonan and I could and would use one in our classroom.

Pete Campbell
Thanks to Professor Liddle,  SUNY Delhi is being considered for a Smarter Kids Foundation SmartBoard Starter Grant.  This grant would enable us to receive 10 SmartBoards (www.smartboards.com), 10 Smartboard Wireless slates http://www.smartboards.com/categories/Wireless-Slates/ and Interactive Response Systems (clickers)for only 55% of the cost.  SK Foundation will pay for approximately 45% of the cost of the system and its components.
 
The uses are limitless--Architecture, Electrical Instrumentation & Controls, HVAC, Welding, Pipefitting, Construction Tech, all Sciences including Vet Sci, Math, Gen Ed, English, CAD, Art, etc. etc. etc. etc.
 
To see this in action, please click on this video:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FJFGGgcyzM
 
We do have one Smartboard on campus in Evenden 205.  Prof. Liddle is happy to show it to those who are interested.
 
Unfortunately, we are limited to the purchase of 10 smartboards.  Please send this to your faculty to get a sense if they'd incorporate into their classes.  Since budgets are so tight, it would be best to leverage funds from all divisions to make the purchase.  This is a one-time grant, I'd hate to let the opportunity pass us by.
 There is a dated conversation about smartboards on Confluence (from January 2009).  I will also put this request up there as well.  https://confluence.delhi.edu/display/ODD/Smartboards
 
Thanks,
Carmen Andoh (via Monica Liddle)

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4 Comments

  1. I read the Smartboard website and couldn't find an answer to this: Can this be used remotely, too? For example, would I be able to see what's written on it when I "attend" meetings that use it at Delhi, being located in IL? Would I be able to use it, say, in a chat with my students in my VH classes?

    1. Hi Deb, I'm not sure about the first part,  but as for your second question, there is software we subscribe to called WorldWide Whiteboard which you find at the bottom of the list of "Activities" to add into your courses in VH - which contains a live chat/whiteboard function.

  2. I teach math as does Monica.  I could definitely use this whiteboard in  my courses, particularly in Contemporary Math as Monica noted.  It would also be useful in the Calculus sequence where we use a computer algebra system called Maple.  We'd be able to easily mark up the Maple graphs.  I also teach math online, and agree with Monica that the software could facilitate the posting of online material in mathematics.

    Thanks

    Patti

  3. I'm glad to see this discussion started by the folks that teach in our classrooms. I found an interesting article on classroom technology where sympodiums where featured http://www.edtechmag.com/higher/november-december-2008/classroom-smarts.html
    I don't ever recall anyone ever requesting smart boards before, I remember someone asking what they cost but not to have one installed. Smart Boards are very prevalent in the K-12 market however higher ed has had a slower rate of adoption. I've toured classroom installations at several colleges including a several hundred thousand dollar scale up classroom at Ithaca College and I've yet to see one. I have a few thoughts when it comes to these units, I think one of the reasons that they've been so successful in the K-6 market is that they are installed in controlled environments. Basically they are connected to the same computer that is used by the same user all day long. We're aren't really afforded that luxury. Our classrooms are designed to accommodate the masses and only a few have PC's installed in them. Secondly the cost of the unit doesn't factor in installation, any work that SUNY Delhi Facilities would need to do, or training for faculty and support staff. Thirdly Smart Board is a brand name, there are various manufactures and products on the market.
    What is that we hope to accomplish here? To have a smart board in every classroom? I can't imagine that being the case. If we decide to go foward, should they be installed in more controlled environments like the math computer lab (Sanford 123)? That would address a specific need. Perhaps having a few sympodiums available in current technology classrooms would be sufficient. Or could these units be purchased and loaned out to faculty. They could connect to the projector via the existing vga cable. A second cable would need to be loaned out so that the unit could be connected to the notebook pc. This would be better for security reasons. When the faculty member was done teaching they could unplug and take the unit with them. Just food for thought. Again I applaud the discussion, some folks have really identified a need.