Spring-Ford teachers Kate Seward and Dan Butterweck got the chance to show parents what their excited seventh graders have been talking about since November - the brand-new SMARTboards, computers, document cameras and other equipment in their social studies classroom.
Seward won the classroom in September through a grant program called the SMART Exemplary Educator program. It gives the class the opportunity to work collaboratively on projects and lessons.
Seward is the only teacher in Pennsylvania who has won this award, and there are only 15 in all of North America.
The system includes desktop computers and document cameras. The cameras can project pages, attach to microscopes, or project a cube that can function as a 3-D on-screen object. It also includes a response system that Seward and Butterweck can use to give quizzes.
One of the big benefits is that the teachers get immediate feedback on how well the students are absorbing the lessons.
Seward said that the students have responded very well to the new methods.
"Kids that I had to chase down to get their homework are turning it in," Seward said. "Other kids who were quiet in class are now the first ones with their hands up."
The seventh grade classes had put together projects that use all of the SMART system's capabilities. Students were showing parents their pages in each project.
One parent said her daughter has been more inspired by the technology.
"She was always a good student," Carolyn Smith said, "but she loves this class."
Parents seemed impressed and some were having fun writing on the boards and checking out all the tools.
Enjoy our gallery of photos from the classroom open house!