Promethean ActivBus shows off interactive teaching tools
While students are enjoying their summer away from the classroom, some teachers are back in class to check out the next wave of teaching technology.
It's the RV of education that has rolled into Westfield: A motor home loaded with teaching tools for the future.
"This is really our interactive classroom on wheels," says Scott Caulfield, coordinator of Promethean ActivBus.
The England-based company Promethean has been on the road showing off its interactive whiteboards, laptops, classroom cameras, and interactive clickers that engage students and teachers in a digital age.
Scott Caulfield, Promethean ActivBus. It's a great tool, It allows us to write on the board, but it has all the interactivity because I have this connected to my computer.
Now comes the ActiveTable, which allows half a dozen grade school students to sit together and learn by interacting.
Fifth grader Alexis McClure says she's impressed by the technology.
"For me personally, it helps me learn, because, I'm a visual person, so if someone tells me something I have to see it myself. "
This is one of two busses that travel the country displaying the latest in technology for the classroom. Westfield Washington Schools have been using these products for the last five years.
More school districts are weighing the costs versus the benefits of these devices. It can cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to outfit a school system.
But teachers here say they see the benefit every day.
Jennifer Sawa is a sixth grade teacher. "We are dealing with 21st century learners, and we can no longer teach them using a textbook. They need to have devices in their hand, they need to have screens in front of them, they need to be up and moving."
Scott Caulfield of Promethean told us, "They get in 9 months, what would normally take 12 months. So the amount of time that it takes teachers to go through the subject matter, it actually gets through faster, because students are retaining more, and we notice more student engagement."
Educators say it's not just the power of technology improving teaching methods, it's less of a struggle for students to get a quality education.
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