EDMOND — Edmond Memorial High School teacher Martha Wissler knows her math after teaching the subject for 30 years. More problematic is teaching the subject using a SMARTboard, a high-tech blending of a chalkboard and a projector. She knows how to use it but says it takes about two hours to produce an activity.
"If I had to rate myself on a one to 10 scale, one being I know what it looks like to 10 being ‘I’m an expert,’ I’d probably be a two or a three,” she said. Wissler is one of about 200 teachers in the Edmond School District trained to work on the classrooms aids. To use a SMARTboard, a teacher plugs a laptop into a projector that then shoots whatever is on the computer’s screen onto a special whiteboard. Touching anywhere on the whiteboard is equivalent to a left-mouse click. Teachers can also type on the screen, move objects around and draw pictures. Wissler said the SMARTboard has "made it easier because it involves the kids a little more. The only disadvantage I can think of is my lack of knowledge. It’s so fast and there is so much you can learn and do, it’s almost like you’re playing catch-up all the time.” Other teachers agree the devices have made it easier to keep their students’ attention. Shannon Toney, a sixth-grade teacher at Cimarron Middle School, said she has her students’ undivided attention when she used the device. "The kids love it, I love it,” she said. "There is no better way to get your kids involved than to use your SMARTboard.