Friday, February 22, 2008

Engaged Learning in math with eBeam

Today I watched 8th grade regular mathematics students having a blast! They were engaged, having fun, and learning about a subject I dreaded in school. Perhaps if I'd had a teacher that facilitated class the way Gene does and there was intelligent white board technology in the classroom, I would have a different opinion of math.

How did this happen? Not my dread of math, we all know how that happens. I mean how did the engaged math classroom I saw today happen. Quite by accident, but aren't some of the best discoveries the result of an accident.

As I said two posts ago, my department received the eBeam as a result of a grant from taking a free class. Can't get much better than that, right! Well perhaps, but never mind. Anyway, I'd asked Sunset's library staff to consider presenting as session at Technology in Education Colorado and they sent me back a "sweet" note saying, if the district would give them a smart board, they'd be happy to make a presentation about it. Little did they know we had this one, so I sent it to them as a surprise and told them to go for it! They happened to show it to Mr. Kath first as his has clickers in his classroom and they made the "mistake" of letting him use it and now they can't "seem" to get it back.

Mr. Kath emailed me that he and his kids loved it, wanted to know how long they can use it and wanted to know if they could buy it.

So today I went to watch a class or two in action. Wow! Great learning going on, everyone interacting and speaking up. Lots of raised hands and requests to come up to the board to show how the chosen answer is the right one and why.

He said it is amazing how this has changed the dynamics in his class. Kids that never spoke up before are participating. I could see just in my short visit, the quality and the quantity of their learning. Now I happen to know what a great teacher Mr. Kath is as my twins had him for two years. We love him, but that combined with a useful applicable technology is making math even more fun. And he doesn't even have a white board. He uses a large white piece of paper on the wall!

Anyone out there use the eBeam or other devices? What are the pro's and con's of the eBeam versus other intelligent interactive white boards? What about the cost difference. I still haven't found a cost on this one yet. I plan to soon.

No comments: