Ecole Providence offers students cutting-edge, collaborative learning technology

Above: A Smartboard 4000 interactive panel installed recently at Ecole Providence.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff
Students at Ecole Providence now have the most current and best collaborative learning technology in their classrooms.

Four Smartboard 4000 series interactive flat panels were installed at the school, March 10.

Due to the classrooms being heated through ceiling ducts, the former Smartboards that have now been replaced, had problems with the ceiling projectors shutting down from overheating.

“The projector problems caused a loss in productivity,” says Jim Taplin, Assistant Superintendent of Inclusion and Student Support at Holy Family Catholic Regional Division (HFCRD).
“We looked at different avenues, such as funnelling the heat downwards and then came to the realization that we should invest in the new technology where the temperature doesn’t matter because there is no projector, it’s all integrated into the computer.”

The new Smartboards hook into the computer’s HDMI and produce a clear HD picture on the LCD panel, eliminating shadows, glare and hotspots that are common with projectors.

The Smartboard 4000 series have a life expectancy of 10 years and are designed to provide students and teachers with a collaborative classroom experience.

An important adaptability feature is ClickShare wireless display technology, which allows any laptop, tablet and other devices to immediately project onto the Smartboard panel.

The entire surface of the 4000 series panel is responsive to touch and whether a stylus or one’s finger is used the results are clear and legible.

Taplin says their objective is to create an optimum learning environment for the students and the prior system caused a lot of frustration. He said putting the Smartboard interactive panels in wasn’t a cheap solution but an effective one that values each student in the school.

A benefit from the teachers’ perspective is that they can continue to use the tools they are accustomed to and don’t have to undergo any major learning curve.

“One of the reasons with going with the smart interactive panels was that our teachers already know the technology but they will now have a lot sharper image and a lot clearer touch point and by upgrading we are putting the best collaborative technology available in our students’ hands.”

Taplin points out that the collaborative skills the students acquire are life-long skills and that sometimes the kids don’t realize they are learning those skills because it is such a natural learning experience.

HFCRD also has big plans for Ecole Providence gymnasium, installing in a rear-facing projector above the stage with a drop down electric screen.

“Hopefully we will get everything in before the awards ceremonies,” says Taplin. “It is important for the community to have a gymnasium with the right level of technology. Whether it is a Christmas concert, community event, we need to provide a venue that facilitates learning and supports the community.”

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