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Promethean Boards Provide ISBVI Teachers with New Classroom Potential

By: Seth Johnson

ISBVI elementary math teacher Ali Ardaiolo has noticed an immediate difference in terms of student engagement since she first started using the newly installed Promethean board in her classroom.

“It’s been like night and day in here,” says Ardaiolo, who teaches third, fourth and fifth grade math at ISBVI. “The kids are so engaged in lessons now.”

Middle school math teacher Linda Baker is seen using her Promethean board. Linda appears to be speaking with a hand outstretched, as a geometry problem appears on the board’s digital display.In late October, Promethean boards were installed in 20 instructional classrooms at ISBVI, providing teachers with a new realm of possibilities when it comes to interactive instruction. Made possible through the work of the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation (IBCF), this initial round of 20 Promethean boards was funded by 2022 Through the Looking Glass Gala attendees, Nina Mason Pulliam Trust, Arthur Dean Family Foundation and Frank Andrews. We at IBCF are now actively working to have 13 more Promethean boards integrated into the remaining instructional classrooms at ISBVI by the end of February 2023.

The acquisition of the Promethean boards is the next step of ensuring ISBVI students have access to the most modern technology at all times. This commitment was made by the foundation when the pandemic hit, and it will continue to be a strong focus of our fundraising in the future.

With an enlarged display, Ardaiolo has found it much easier to work through math problems as a class, especially thanks to the Promethean board’s zooming capabilities.

“For a math worksheet, I can share it on the screen from my computer and blow it up,” Ardaiolo says. “Then, I put it in the Whiteboard app, and I can write on it. When it’s on the screen and everyone can see, it’s amazing.”

Like Ardaiolo, middle school math teacher Linda Baker has already gotten busy with integrating the new Promethean board into her classroom.

“I can put a PDF of a worksheet on here, and then I’m able to annotate it,” Baker says. “I can have the kids come up to the board, and we can do it all together.”

Baker has also found that her students enjoy when she displays visuals on the board, considering how large the screen is. At the beginning of each class, for example, she likes to display a math-related cartoon or meme for her students to enjoy before the day’s lesson.

“One of the nice things about the Promethean board is that it’s a living bulletin board, for lack of a better word,” says Baker, who adds she’ll sometimes even treat her students to a math-related music video on the Promethean board from time to time.

Since having her Promethean board installed, ISBVI art teacher Leslie Walsh has already started thinking through potential interactive opportunities she can provide her students with.

“In my head I’m thinking, ‘Maybe we could even contact an artist virtually, or see if there’s someone at a museum who we could talk to about something,’” Walsh says.

Additionally, Walsh has simply enjoyed having the capability to show her students enlarged examples of art.

“They’re able to see the examples that I have in a much larger way,” Walsh says. “They can go up really close to it, as opposed to my phone or my iPad, which have tiny screens.”

On Dec. 6, ISBVI teachers and staff will receive their first official Promethean board training, allowing them to get an even better grasp on the many ways this technology can be used in the classroom. Going forward, be sure to stay tuned to the IBCF newsletter and social media channels for future updates on how these Promethean boards are making an impact on the teachers, students and staff at ISBVI.