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Use of Promethean whiteboards in Maths classroom

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by vikki.marsh, May 4, 2018.

  1. vikki.marsh

    vikki.marsh New commenter

    My school are pushing for Promethean whiteboards to be used in our new teaching block that is currently being built. The demo we had was very swishy, with all the pretty animations and dazzling effects we’ve come to expect from these things, but I’m curious to hear from anyone who has experience using these in their classrooms. Perhaps I am getting cynical in my old age, but I am fed up with being asked to use technology that is temperamental, unreliable or quickly out-of-date. Am I right to be concerned and wanting to cling to my trusted white board, or is “the” board that will further inspire my students and I should get with the times?
  2. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    I have a department of 16 and they are pretty much evenly split as to what they prefer. Half just want a projector onto an ordinary whiteboard, the other half want an interactive board in every classroom.
    What they all agree on is they want lots MORE board space (with squares). Make sure that each new classroom has at least 2 boards, one to project onto and another massive one to write on. Some schools go for the trendy "every surface is a whiteboard" in a new build, but just think of the time taken to clean them all at the end of the lesson!
  3. Scifihel

    Scifihel New commenter

    Yes, extra whiteboard space to write on around the sides, if you have to go down this route.
    Here are some issues I’ve experienced, though. Lack of suitable blinds (none in my shiny new classroom - too expensive), projector bulbs not being replaced (too expensive) so poor projection, remotes being ‘borrowed’, new projectors being stolen en masse soon after being put in (the security stuff was ‘coming’). Promethean pens going missing, or batteries dying and not being replaced.
    And the most recent - stopping the subscription to Activinspire in favour of free, online stuff. The department has a year to re-write every lesson before the school stops paying for it. They’re not replacing the activboards when they break down. If one breaks in maths or science, a replacement comes from one of the other subjects who don’t use the interactivity and they get a plain whiteboard to project their PowerPoints onto (they have to change to Google over the year as well).
  4. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Do you have any evidence* to support the claim that the students learn better, when one is used in preference to a bog standard whiteboard ? If Yes, get one asap. If No, spend the money on something less entertaining, but marginally more useful. Whatever that may be.

    *Evidence: the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.

    Negative: I think I used mine twice in 7 years. :(
    Positive: I wasn't the one roasted for being unable to remove the inadvertently applied permanent marker. :D
    Deirds likes this.
  5. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    for teaching Maths the screens are often too small in my experience. Incidentally, Primary schools use flip charts widely, far more so than secondary from what I have seen. They are actually really effective, cheap and easy to remove sheets to put on the wall immediately for pupil assistance then and next lesson.
  6. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    My personal preference is projection onto a whiteboard with additional whiteboards on either side that aren't used as noticeboards.

    I don't like these new touch sensitive TV screens as they stand so far off the wall that any whiteboards next to them are rendered useless as students at the front of one of the side columns can't see the wall at the other side of the TV screen.

    I prefer using teaching software to powerpoint and ActivInspire is infinitely better than SMART especially for maths.
  7. chrisa86

    chrisa86 New commenter

    Completely agree - ActivInspire is far more useful for Maths than Notebook or PowerPoint. One inevitably just has a PowerPoint file with the answers pre-prepared, rather than doing the working in front of the students and I cannot believe this is as useful for the students.

    Whether students learn better is probably not the argument - I would say it's far easier to have materials prepared and then less time is wasted by writing questions in the lesson.
  8. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    I use a Promethean daily and would concur with those who say extra board space is extremely useful (some pillock installed the one here on top of the existing white board). The ActivInspire maths tools are pretty good, though I have to say I found the older version of the software more convenient. The technology seems pretty robust. Mine was in place for a decade or more and working well when it developed a fault that caused the cursor to keep jumping away from the pen. It was swapped for a less used one in another room that is working fine. One oddity: if you have high ceilings and consequently long "arms" for holding projectors don't spend too long close to the board on windy days - it can leave me feeling quite sea sick!
  9. sarahtaylor999

    sarahtaylor999 New commenter

    I love my board , I wouldn't take a job without an IWB. They are fab. I save my flipcharts (useful for students absent I print out the lesson), the students write on them all the time, I've used them in about 5 different schools over about 15 years and they very rarely go wrong especially the new boards by Promethean they also have the latest anti glare so problems about the blinds. You can prep work before and then annotate it in the lessons. Going over exam papers where you can import them to ActivInspire and you have the diagrams/ graphs there to write on. I put links to videos in them and with one click it runs from the place I want. I have recorded a demo of me explaining work and then left it for a cover lesson to just run. They are fab. Plus you don't get dirty hands from the pen!
    But I do also have two small and a big white board in my room which also get used.

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