InterWrite SchoolPads Take Technology to a New Level
Children grow up with calculators, computers, handheld devices and electronic whiteboards. Now, GTCO CalComp has taken technology to a new level with the introduction of the InterWrite SchoolPad. This wireless pad gives teachers the ability to use an electronic pen like a mouse to annotate and highlight any computer image. It also enables teachers to interact with a projected image at the front of the room while standing anywhere in the classroom.
As an elementary school teacher, I try to find exciting ways to help students learn. I became interested in electronic whiteboards after seeing them at a conference. I was curious as to what they could do and how I could use them in the classroom, so I invited a GTCO CalComp representative to our school for a demonstration. The representative arrived with several "technology toys," and he showed us many different ways the SchoolPads could engage our students in learning. This tool, which acts as a portable electronic whiteboard, was the key to active student learning in the classroom. We purchased five SchoolPads for our school and have been pleased with the technological advantages they have offered our students and faculty over the last year.
I have used the SchoolPad in several different curricular areas. Students have used the SchoolPads in math class to answer questions, which can be posted on the computer and TV. Students also have the capability to quickly answer questions, post new questions, and challenge each other using the pads to race in math drills. In addition, the SchoolPad was helpful when teaching fractions because they could be easily drawn and represented with concrete models on the screen to help students understand the lesson and start applying the knowledge on their own.
SchoolPads are great tools in language arts as well. Each week I post the spelling list on the computer or TV using the handheld SchoolPad. While teaching handwriting, I modeled each cursive letter on the board and had the students practice writing with the SchoolPad's electronic pen. This is a great way to utilize students' handwriting skills as they move from tracing to writing letters, because their writing is posted on the screen as the students write on the SchoolPad.
I have also used the SchoolPad's software to post questions that I respond to later in the day during reading time, which gives each child a chance to answer different questions. In addition, a fifth-grade class used the SchoolPads to study for an upcoming science test. The teacher read the questions and students answered them using the SchoolPads. The teacher then printed the students' notes for them to use as a study guide.
InterWrite SchoolPads have made students excited about learning. With the touch of an electronic pen to the screen, students are using their skills in new ways, making learning more authentic and fun. The InterWrite SchoolPads have become an essential part of our classrooms.
GTCO CalComp Inc.
This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2004 issue of THE Journal.