Wekome to-St. Hug
So I went to the school's "Smart Board" Training session.
By "Training Session", they mean, "introduction to the technology session". Training must be done one on one over the next ten weeks before we meet some subjective standard of competence determined by the smart board people. Then we can try to wrangle a classroom with the technology each division has one such classroom for one of our classes. If we get that, each time we teach we need to get the one key holder for our division to let us in.
So you can tell I am going to dedicate many hours of one one one training for this.
We were shown some nifty "white board" technology. For example, using some high tech "pen technology" you can make marks on the smart board surface that show up, almost like using a dry erase pen, or piece of chalk! Of course, to do that you need to download the software to your laptap, get the specialized passwords, plug it in, run the system through a set of tests (aligned the detection devices, etc.) Then you get all the functionality of a chalk board.
But wait there is more!
The character recognition software can capture your comments and put them into the specialized software (not easily transferred to any document though). Still, not a bad idea. However the super SMART technology translated the words "Welcome to St. Aug" in perfectly clear hand writing, into "Wekome to-St.Hug" And then the TWO trainers spent about five minutes trying to correct that, bringing online a virtual keyboard, using the regular keyboard, using the editing tools, etc.. It was pretty funny.
I will probably try to use the system this semester to show my students some art works. But I must say, I am somewhat dubious of the benefits here. Baby steps, I know, but man, these baby steps are infuriatingly small.