SMART boards revolutionizing learning at RMS

By Staff
Melissa Dozier-Cason, FCT staff writer
Say goodbye to the dusty old chalkboards and dry erase boards. The chalkboards of the future have arrived at Russellville City Schools.
The boards called SMART boards can revolutionize the way students learn in the classroom.
Four of these boards are already being utilized at Russellville Middle School. The school received nine boards total. The other five should be up and running within another week, Jason Simmons, RMS assistant principal, said.
"The only limitation with these boards is your imagination," Simmons said.
The board works with a computer and projector to make images on appear on the white screen. However, once the lesson is loaded onto the computer, teachers can manipulate the screen just by touching the board or by writing on it with special writing pen for the board, Simmons said.
"You can write with these pen, and it looks like you are writing on the board, but you are not," Simmons said.
All department heads at RMS received the SMART boards, and Coach Jeff Madden received the SMART boards. Coach Madden's homeroom class was the top sellers during the school's fall fundraiser, Simmons said.
The plan for RMS is to have SMART boards in every classroom, but the school is about three to four years from achieving that goal.
The boards can compliment any subject. Carol Murphree's class uses it to learn about history, geography, and other facts using the board. Her class showed Google Earth on the board. Google Earth brings up a flat globe that can be turned by just simply sliding your hand across the board. The globe can be turn slowly or fast.
The idea for RMS to get SMART boards stemmed from Murphree's visit to Haleyville City Schools, who have SMART boards. Murphree came back to her principal and asked if they could get them, Murphree said.
"I asked Mr. Hammond if we could get SMART boards, and he did not know what I was taking about," Murphree said. "But, he researched them, and now we have them."
The students benefit from the boards well. All students were asked collectively why they like the SMART boards, and the collective response was "because it is fun."
Murphree, Simmons and Madden all agree that SMART boards replace the traditional chalkboards, and dry erase boards and improve their ability to teach there given subject.
"I feel like SMART boards will be in every classroom [across the nation] before long," Murphree said.

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