A new tool for teaching

Little Snake River Valley using smart board to reach students


It's proof that names can be deceiving.

A new tool at Little Snake River Valley school in Baggs, Wyo., is called a Smart Board, but third-grade teacher Cindy Cobb says a more appropriate name is "a dumb board."

And that is a compliment to the Smart Board.

"(The smart board is) limited by your creativity," Cobb said. "It can do everything you can dream it to do, but you have to do it. It's called a smart board, but it is really a dumb board. ... It's just as smart as you are."

The Smart Board is an interactive whiteboard, where a computer projects information onto whiteboard. Instead of using a mouse to control the cursor, users touch the board to move the cursor.

Students can write or draw on the board with their fingers or with special pens, and can listen to a speech, watch DVDs or use the Internet with the Smart Board.

"I just think it is a great tool because it reaches all students," Cobb said. "It doesn't matter if they're visual learners, audio learners ... It's all there. Kids learn differently and you need to reach as many kids as you can in a way that they feel comfortable learning."

Teaching 14 to 19 second- and third-graders, Cobb uses the Smart Board for reading, language arts, math, science and social studies. She finds it most beneficial for reading and math classes, and she puts all of her math lessons into the smart board, and when called upon, students come up to work out the problems as if it were an advanced chalkboard with the problems ready in advance.

"The kids love it," Cobb said. "They're so attentive. They all want to be able to use it. They know if that if I call them and they don't know what is going on, then they won't be able to use it."

A $10,000 grant allowed the kindergarten through 12th-grade school to purchase a Smart Board, and provide training to teachers on its use.

There are two smart boards for the 185 students, who attend the kindergarten through 12th-grade school.

"It's just neat that (LSRV students) have a chance to see technology being used at this size of school," Cobb said.

Jerry Raehal can be reached at 970-824-7031, ext. 204 or jraeahal@craigdailypress.com

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