NILES SCHOOLS Boards link to Internet

The board has at least one more 'smart board' ordered.
NILES -- The wave of the future in education is making its way into Niles classrooms.
Board members were treated Monday to a presentation of the schools' new "smart boards," computerized projectors that link to the Internet and display PowerPoint presentations against a screen.
Niles schools have three of the machines already, and at least one more on order, said teacher Caroline Hines.
Hines, along with educators Stephanie Freel and Dana Butto, demonstrated the many uses for the new projectors, which are currently used in Edison Junior High, Niles McKinley High and Bonham Elementary schools. The machines are primarily used in math classes, they said, but the potential is endless.
The machines project any Web page onto a screen, but teachers can use special markers to write on the screen, and the new images can be printed out. The projectors can be used to incorporate text, pictures, video clips and other media into classroom presentations.
During the presentation to the board of education, Hines showed how students can apply geometry to real-life images, displaying a picture of the stadium to demonstrate angles and other math applications.
"It makes teaching real-life applications so much easier," Butto said.
And it is making it easier for educators to get students to pay attention, the women said.
"Their eyes open and they pay attention," Freel said. "There are no closed eyes, or heads down."
The women said many students duck their heads into the classrooms throughout the day asking if they get to use the "smart boards," as they are referred to, in class that day.
Hines said the new technology does make for more initial preplanning on the part of teachers, but the results are well worth the efforts.
"They are just a lot more fun," she said.

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