VILLAGE OF HARTLAND - The Hartland-Lakeside School District will receive new 75-inch smartboards from the company that first created them.

Almost every classroom in the district will receive the new smartboards from SMART Technologies (whose parent company is Foxconn), according to district Superintendent Glenn Schilling, as an upgrade to those that have been in the district for the last 15 years. They cost about $3,500 each, and are being installed for the upcoming 2017-18 school year.

"We have it in our technology budget, so we budgeted it out as something that we knew that these boards would eventually have to be replaced because they are wearing out," Schilling said. 

The boards will go to kindergarten through fifth-grade teachers, science and math teachers, and language arts teachers at the middle school. Schilling said the new boards will allow for multiple students to write on them, as well as push work from iPads the students' are given to do work on to the screen and vice versa, for example. 

"It's almost like it's a medium that's a projector, a document camera and linking it to a computer all in one," Hartland North Elementary School second-grade teacher Kristol Graham explained. "So you have it all there in one spot. I'm just thinking about teaching a reading. We could simply go to the online (website), our new science curriculum, go to the page, but then I can write right on that digital copy, whereas I really couldn't do that without that."

Allowing access to those digital copies is the smartboard's internet access, which allows the teachers to access textbooks online now. For example, the school purchased materials for a new science curriculum through National Geographic.

"All of that we can access onto the smartboard, videos," Schilling said. "So when you're doing science, it's a lot more interactive. OK, we're talking about plate tectonics. 'Oh, let's look up this video from our science unit.' Boom, you can pop it up right on the smartboard."

Schilling said the technology helps to meet increases in expectations and standards in teaching.

"They need a lot more resources. Giving everyone one textbook is so inferior now compared to what our teachers have at our fingertips," Schilling said. "That doesn't mean we don't have textbooks. We still have textbooks, but we have them in digital form as well as in hand form. Then you can expand on everything you have."

"So you take our National Geographic books that we have for teachers, the big books and stuff and that; then you multiply that times a thousand, or maybe ten thousand, as the amount of resources they have for that science program."



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