A few days ago I received a little toy for my classroom and there is it is before me, six and one-half feet of ‘smartboard’, a Promethean smartboard to be exact. Classicists will no doubt remember that Prometheus brought fire (read ‘knowledge’) to humankind. He was also thoroughly punished for it as I recall.
The educational world being what it is I am amused at the decision process that delivered the new toy to my playground. Was I the most ‘tech-savvy’? N-o-o-0. Was I perhaps one of the ‘best teachers’? Don’t think so. Was it maybe because I was a favorite of the ‘powers that be’? God prevent such a thing!
I received a smartboard for no other reason than that it fit into my classroom. Yep, ‘no other place to put it, so you get it’ I was told. Now I am the envy of the teachers who did not have the right fitting rooms, and the delight of the students who now have a whole new reason for asking ‘can we write on your board?’
If the truth be known, the board is no different from a piece of chalk, albeit more fun and less dusty. It is a tool that neither makes me a better teacher, nor a worse. If it improves my teaching somehow, it will be worth it I suppose. At the worst, it is a great way to watch movies with a killer speaker system!