Readers' Survey 2006: Most Promising Classroom Innovation
Edutopia readers weigh in on their favorites.
By far the most votes were for these interactive, teacher-friendly devices, which function very much like touch-screen computers, made by such companies as PolyVision, Promethean, and Smart Technologies. If you haven't used one, imagine an old chalkboard with magic powers and an IQ of 145 that allows you to write things down, move them around, and make corrections, plus offer all manner of attention-riveting wizardry. Other contenders: wireless laptop computers for every student, LCD projectors, grading software, comfortable chairs, and desks that can be joined to form group tables.
Ask not what you can do for a smart whiteboard, ask what this nifty innovation can do for you! It wants to perform. It helps you
- sort words or pictures into categories, or numbers into order
- edit sentences, paragraphs, or whole essays
- separate numbers or formulas into parts, and move the parts around
- hide parts of pictures or words to quiz knowledge or prompt discussion
- mark or highlight certain parts of words, pictures, or problems
- create and manipulate graphs onscreen
- write collaboratively or solve problems
- peer teach, and support student presentations