This started out as a joke and then I decided it wasn’t a joke.
There are perceptions about what/how/why something happens (usually from the DSC out to the sites) about topics that often end up needing clarification. I’m wondering if these are things that people are willing to post on a thread here and we can help get to the bottom of the issue. This happened a lot to me early in my time at 287. There was a large, and perhaps still looming, perception that I’m trying to make every student an online learner or every teacher and online teacher and it’s just not the case. I like to clear those kinds of things up when I can.
About 7 years ago when we launched our district Moodle site there was a perception that it would be going away right away and that something else would replace it. Now we have an internationally recognized district for how we use and collaborate with Moodle. It’s not going anywhere, no matter what other tools people use in their classrooms. It’s simply too valuable for more reasons than just individual courses.
So, that’s my example. I thought it might be nice just to have a place to post things you’re hearing and we can figure out who the people are who can help confirm, clarify or reject various issues.
Great idea, Jon, and I have a perfect first rumor to clarify!
Rumor: IT is going to replace SmartBoards with something else that may not be compatible with SmartNotebook Software.
Clarification: IT is always willing to work with program staff and make sure only technology that works for you all and your students is installed. Some facts are listed below, as well as, reasoning for moving from SmartBoards to SmartDisplays where possible.
SmartDisplays (as they’re called) are built by Smart and are fully compatible with SmartNotebook as SmartBoards are. SmartDisplays come in 65", 75" and 86" sizes. Those sizes are on the diagonal like TVs are. SmartDisplays do not require a projector, so there isn’t the added cost of the bulb replacements or risk of a large expense when the projector fails. They also have a longer life cycle than SmartBoards.
SmartBoards are still in production and are larger/taller at roughly 78" W by 53" H. They have the added potential expense with projector failures and regular bulb replacements. SmartBoards have a shorter life cycle than SmartDisplays.
Touch Displays (not SmartNotebook compatible) would be an option in a classroom that does not use SmartNotebook software, but the teacher would like the touch capability in order to maneuver at the display instead of having to use their laptop/desktop to scroll or click a button.
Non-Touch Displays (not SmartNotebook compatible) would be an option in a classroom that does not use SmartNotebook software and the touch functionality is not needed. This would be much like having a projector and white screen. A white screen and projector would offer more real-estate than a display. The display is less expensive and does not have the added cost of regular bulb replacements. A display also has a longer life expectancy.
Again, we would never make a decision that had a negative impact in the classroom. Care and Treatment for example, has had a number of new sites and classrooms over the past two years. They have “standardized” on SmartBoards for Elementary/Middle age student classrooms and SmartDisplays for Middle/High School age student classrooms, because of the height of the students and their ability to easily reach the board/display.
I welcome any further discussion or questions about this topic and hope this post resolves some potential angst the rumor may have caused.
My concern about the SmartDisplays is that they’re not as sensitive or responsive as traditional SmartBoards. We have 4 here at Headway North. They are great for projecting and great for using SmartNotebook to sort/drag/categorize, etc. However, they aren’t as nuanced in their recognition of touch as a traditional SmartBoard. I’m happy to have the technology, but I’m concerned for teachers who use SmartBoards to write a lot–as writing often appears sloppy or less legible with the less sensitive Display.
I’ve got one that a lot of people are asking me about.
Rumor: Jon Fila is a cyborg created by Moodle to promote and support digital learning.
Clarification: Yes and No. Much of Jon is human. However, Jon Fila 2.0—his recently updated version—has a number of android components. With this latest upgrade, he can no longer pass through airline security without setting off alarms.
Whether he was created by Moodle or not is unconfirmed. You’ll have to come to your own conclusions on that part.
Alex, this is great feedback. I have not heard this from anyone yet in the District and would be interested to know if others are experiencing this as well. Are you experiencing this on more than one SmartDisplay?
I have similar problems with mine. I love that I don’t have the shadow effect from a smart board that has a projector. I also miss some of the features that my smart board was able to do such as freezing the screen so students could see what I had up but then I could still use my computer for other things. I have also had other issues with the sound where I have to go in and switch the settings and then it switches it’s self back. I also do not like that the board is smaller. Like Alex I am super greatful to have the technology and it’s just has more glitches then a smart board.