Woodland’s New Smart Boards

Screens are everywhere at Woodland: in our pockets, backpacks, and right in front of our faces. They’re productive, practical, and an overall big help.

Beginning in August, the IT department began a new project to replace the boards, which has been a component of teaching since the school opened. However, the new screens are not called “Smart Boards”, but are known formally as “Interactive Flat Panel Displays.”

Michael Illian, Woodland’s Technology Advisor, believes the new screens solve several issues.

“The new screens are a lot brighter, laptops only need one cable, and some have Android built right in,” said Illian.

Before the new screens came along, Woodland used projectors which were paired with flat “screens” bolted in front of the whiteboards. While these units were effective, problems arose with costs, most notably bulb replacement.

“The projectors are cheaper on a unit-to-unit basis, but when you add the bulbs, it starts to add up,” Illian said about the costs. “We decided that the new screens would be more effective in the long run than the current solution.”

So far, teachers have been positive in their attitude towards the new displays.

“They have a much brighter and sharper picture, the touchscreens are more sensitive, and the new pen works better,” remarked English teacher Jess Block. “Plus, they work with the new chromeboxes perfectly, as well as our laptops.”

However, the new boards don’t comply with everyone.

“The biggest complaint we’ve gotten is from the math department,” stated Illian on negative feedback that he’s received. “They tend to write small and very quickly, and the boards aren’t accurate enough to keep up with that.”

Tracy Brunelle, Special Education Teacher, commented on the negative aspects of the new displays.

“When I’m displaying things from the internet, I can’t draw on the board,” Brunelle stated as problems. “It’s like the board has a mind of its own.”

While most of the boards are already installed, Illian said there are still a few more that need to go in.

“We have a big screen going into the library, and we have most of them installed, so we hope to have it finished very soon.”