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IHC primary, intermediate schools install 20 Smart Boards

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A year ago, Immaculate Heart Elementary Principal Gary F. West said he hoped he could get just one Smart Board installed in both the primary and intermediate schools.

Thanks to parent and alumni donations as well as Home and School Club fundraisers, both schools will have interactive technology in each classroom.

“The classrooms will be equipped so teachers can do what they want with technology,” Mr. West said. “This is all about helping students learn. Technology is in their life every day.”

The 20 Smart Boards purchased will be the first in any of the schools at Immaculate Heart Central. Junior/Senior High School Principal Lisa A. Parsons said her school has 30 iPads for student use and she hopes to have Smart Boards installed “in the next year or two.”

“They’re finished with this building and they’re at the primary school,” Mr. West said. “We installed them all ourselves with the help of Watertown City School District.”

Fifth-grade math and science teacher Kara E. Smith said she pushed for the schools to buy Smart Boards when she was hired two years ago. On Thursday, she led a small group of teachers in a daylong training session. “My master’s degree is in educational technology specialist,” she said. “I learned how to implement different software into the classroom. These are really the best product on the market for interactive whiteboards.”

She said teachers who are not familiar with technology have the most trouble learning how to use Smart Boards in their classrooms.

Mr. West said the new technology will change the way teachers think about their instruction delivery. His teachers said the same. “I’ve actually been changing up my lesson plans for kindergarten, but I purposely didn’t finish it last night because I knew we were doing this today,” art teacher Linda A. Chamberlain said. “The kids will love it.”

She said it will save her time when teaching students how to draw lines and learn shapes and colors.

“I don’t have to show them a 15-minute movie,” she said. “I can just get up there and do it.”

Sixth-grade English and social studies teacher Henry P. Pecori said he is confident students will like using the Smart Board in his classroom.

“With the technology changing, we can continue to modify our lesson plans to keep up with it,” he said. “It’s exciting because it keeps the kids interested in the learning process. It’s better for the visual learners.”

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