Sunday, May 23, 2010

IWB, I Loathe You!

by Jacob Gutnicki

Michael Lotta was in a foul mood… again. Why did the school have to buy those stupid Clever Boards? Quite frankly it robbed him of blackboard space and a place to hang his coat. If that wasn’t enough, a school wide memo required all High School Math teachers to attend a Clever Board Nuts and Bolts workshop. Michael thought, “I bet this is Perkinson’s fault.” How he detested the new AP. “The nerve of him! He thinks because he went to the Harvard Leadership Program that he is ready to be an AP. How long did he teach in the classroom? 2 months? What a disgrace!”

The Clever Board instructor started by showing the participants how to use the interactive markers and having them sign their name on the Clever Board. The instructor then showed them how to align the board using the Clever Board Tools. For the next hour the instructor showed them how to integrate the Clever Board clip art into their documents. Bill Perkinson the AP was attending the session and thought it was going rather well.

Suddenly, Michael blurted, “What does this have to do with teaching math?” The Clever Board instructor said, “Let me show this really fun shape game we can play. On one side of the screen are the shapes and on the other side of the screen are the names of the objects. The objective of this activity is to drag the correct word on to the shape.”

Michael yelled, “What am I five years old? High School Math! We want High School Math!” The Clever Board instructor started to stammer. Clearly, he was not prepared for this turn of events. The Clever Board instructor attempted to find Math Activities only to be shot down again. Michael said, “Multiplication? You’re kidding me, right?” The Clever Board instructor then said that he would install the Clever Board Geometry Pack and asked the participants to take a 15-minute break.

About 15 minutes later, the installation was completed. The Clever Board instructor rebooted the machine and noticed the display on the Clever Board mutated into the shape of a diamond. Michael blurted, “Hey that looks like a parallelogram.” The instructor attempted to adjust the screen. “Now it looks like a rhombus. What’s next? A quadrilateral?” After another 15 minutes of tinkering, the instructor proceeded to launch the Clever Board Geometry pack. Unfortunately this caused the machine to show the following message;


Michael Lotta could not be happier and said, “I give this instructor an Unsatisfactory.” The other High School teachers started grumbling as well and joined in the festivities.

Bill Perkinson was beside himself. He understood that this Clever Board workshop really stunk and would reinforce Michael’s biases. It would also probably sour the other Math teachers to this kind of technology.

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