By Charles David Henry
The Robert E. Burton Adult Education Center at San Quentin has installed a new interactive state-of-the-art electronic learning devices in six classrooms.
SMART Technologies’ SMART Board, a multi-facet communication device, operates with a desktop/laptop computer, an overhead projector and a white board.
The system will profile images from the computer to an overhead projector displaying objects on the white board. These devices will give teachers and students hands-on access to a variety of training materials.
“With these capabilities and features, teachers and students can interact with images and objects on the board. They can add, change, modify, and delete characters in real time,” said teacher Joel Kaufman.
There are varieties of educational subject materials available within the system. However, classrooms at San Quentin have no access to the internet, said Kaufman.
According to Kaufman, “teachers and students interaction with the current system will provide access to multimedia Microsoft office related software, hard copy textbooks, paper, CD’s and DVDs.” There are additional sources of material including English, grammar, English as a second language, geography, history, mathematics, social studies, reading, science, special education and literature.
The new curriculum and SMART Boards will provide proficiency and fluency to assist with non-English-speaking students.
All related English lesson plans identify syntax, word identification, noun, verbs and other relative sentencing structures. The student can add, change, delete or move objects/images or letters within the text. All modifications made on the board will be saved in memory.
“There is so much research material available that can be used to develop lesson plans.” However, “the internet would allow teachers to post, exchange and share lesson plans with other teacher simultaneously,” Kaufman said.
Kaufman is impressed with the idea students can learn from the various subject materials using “Kinesthetic”. This system feature will give teachers and or students access to “Stylus” – a device used to write and erase digital ink. They can also use their hands to write and erase the material on the board.
“The system is a great learning tool for classroom teaching. But there are so many other features and functions we could use if we only had access to the internet,” Kaufman said.
SMART Technologies representatives are expected to train in the coming months. Kaufman says he is eager to use the SMART Board in his classroom. “I’ll be available to train the other teachers if needed,” he said.