What was required?
With an understanding of the value of Kinesthetic Learning, solutions were thought that would assist teaching methods, increase student interaction and improve outcomes across the curriculum.
The productsought needed to be environmentally friendly (ie reduce the use of photocopied materials), user friendly, comprehensive, and not require constant software upgrades.
After a thorough evaluation Di Prust selected Promethean interactive Whiteboards and the Elmo Document Camera from a Melbourne-based ICT company DatacomIT.
Promethean Interactive Whiteboard
Promethean's Activboard + 2 is an interactive whiteboard that makes learning fun. Designed by teachers, the Activboard reflects the growing trend in visual learning; The idea that children respond to visual stimulation. After comparisons with other products on the market, Albert Park Primary School trialled the whiteboard over a period of two months and found that teachers were able to develop engaging lessons through Promethean's award winning suite of hardware and software.
The Interactive whiteboard comes with many tools that bring lessons to life. The Activboard, where all content is displayed is available in 95, 78 "and 64" sizes with an adjustable height function. Albert Park Primary School purchased 17 78 "whiteboards in total, positioned at the front and center of the classrooms. Di found students were drawn to the whiteboard and managed to focus on lessons with ease.
The battery free pen known as the Activpen, wrists like a pen but functions as a mouse. It is a supplied tool that initiates all the action; Its use also helps the development of children's handwriting and motor skills, a key factor in Albert Park Primary School's selection of the Promethean product over its competitors.
The interactive software means that teachers can create, save and share lessons. The teachers at Albert Park Primary School appear to be enjoying this aspect of the product, as Di highlights the freedom of the flipchart software: 'the flexibility in using the flipcharts makes lessons more accessible.'
The flipchart is like a blank artist's canvas, where the teacher can create a lesson plan that Picasso would be jealous of 'we are more in control of what we can actually do and are not limited by software.'
This is significant for teaching difficult concepts, as complicated lessons can be simplified and then shared among teachers, furthering the possibility of student understanding.
Di has also recognized a shift in the attitudes of her students who are showing a new enthusiasm to learn. Students at Albert Park Primary School relish in the opportunity to use the whiteboard and the tools it boasts.
With its basic suite consisting of the Activboard, the Activpen and the Activstudio lesson creation software, the Promethean interactive whiteboard creates a vibrant and energetic learning experience. Other tools are the Activote, the Activslate, the Activtablet, the Activpanel and the Activwand.
Albert Park Primary School was suitably impressed by the Whiteboard, along with DatacomIT's vast support and experience in this area.
Such an interactive and innovative product will prove its significance over and over again. It will capture and re-capture students and teachers for years to come.
The ELMO iTech Document Camera / Visual Presenter
The Elmo iTeach Document Camera has seen tremendous success in the classroom environment.
The ELMO was selected by Albert Park Primary School to display lessons on the Interactive Whiteboards. Since its implementation the ELMO has managed to project more than just an image or lesson, but a new method of understanding.
A portable alternative to an overhead projector, the ELMO acts to support lessons with its multimedia and interactive capabilities. It produces a large image that can capture moving pictures at 20 frames per second. The camera is positioned above an A3 sized capture area where you can undertake science experiments, present maps, diagrams and handwritten work to students.
'It's terrific, says Di who believes the ELMO compliments the Promethean Interactive Whiteboard,' I use it regularly. Usually I'll draw something on a sheet of paper and then use the ELMO to project it while I'm still drawing or writing on that same piece. '
Teachers can also connect the ELMO document camera to teaching tools other than interactive whiteboards, such as computers and microscopes. Its numerous interfaces (USB, XGA, Video out) and SD memory card availability, means that teachers can generate lessons for their students at home and can re-use and adapt these lessons for classes in years to come.
With the ELMO product new forms of media can be used to reach students, rather than just old videos, DVDs or CDs. Learning becomes a refreshing experience for both teacher and student.
The interactive nature of the ELMO also increases opportunity for more teacher / student interaction; Communication is becoming a two-way experience, rather than the old one-way model of information exchange from teacher to student.
'The general feedback on the Elmo camera from teachers at Albert Park Primary School is very positive' says Di. Their observations include:
1 Increase in pupil concentration
2 Instructions quickly learned
3 Ability to absorb and retain information
4 By enlarging objects, pupil's understanding is improved and academic curiosity is noticeably increased.
The Promethean Interactive Whiteboard and ELMO iTech Document Camera has positioned Albert Park Primary School at the forefront of leading edge teaching techniques.
More time is spent on the learning process itself, involving Kinesthetic Learning with leading educational technologies. Students are generally more interested in the classes where the Interactive Whiteboard and Document camera are used, and get a real buzz from this real time method of teaching.