By Marleigh Canter
In 1987, David Martin founded SMART Technologies. Their interactive displays—SMART Boards—are a tool Byram Hills has been very fortunate to have for the past ten years. But unfortunately, they have “started to become cost prohibitive,” according to Principal Walsh. It would be more expensive for Byram Hills to update the SMART Boards than invest in new Promethean Boards. Promethean Boards are less expensive and do not require annual maintenance fees, whereas the price of maintenance fees for the Smart Boards has increased each year.
Our school is very lucky to have the resources to provide funding for these new boards. The Byram Hills Education Foundation (BHEF) is largely financing the project; “one of their main things is to promote technology use in the classroom, and that’s one of the really great advantages that we have from having that partnership with the BHEF,” says Principal Walsh.
“That’s how lucky we are as a district where we can say that SMART Boards are not as advanced as we are,” in Walsh’s opinion. Byram Hills is able to donate our old SMART Boards to schools that do not have as much funding as we do.
Technology is increasing so much these days, with our access to Google and other technology programs that Byram Hills offers. The Promethean Boards are a way that Byram Hills “can tie in all of the different WiFi capabilities, Chromebook capabilities, and network capabilities, as well as have a more interactive experience for the teachers and students.”
The majority of teachers at Byram Hills will be getting the new boards. For some, “it would actually almost be a hindrance if they don’t receive them, but for the most part, the majority of all of our rooms are getting them,” says Principal Walsh. Installation began just before the break by first putting the first in the 300s hall. The new boards will be more convenient for teachers to give their lessons and hopefully provide hands-on benefits for students too. Byram Hills already had some Promethean Boards, which students have been using for a while now.
Many were unaware of its interactive aspects, but what we know for sure is that “the Promethean Boards will be able to expand kids knowledge,” says Principal Walsh with excitement.
The students are excited as well! Lizzie Manowitz thinks, “they will be a great addition to the school and will help enhance students learning!” Similarly, Olivia Canter feels that “they are great for learning because of the advanced technology.”
Keep your eyes open for the new Promethean Boards filling the walls of BHHS, adding convenience, assisting our curriculum, and creating new learning opportunities.