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Miami-Dade To Give Teachers 18 Months of Interactive Whiteboard Training

Miami-Dade County Public Schools plans to implement interactive whiteboards in more than 10,000 classrooms and will provide teachers with an 18-month professional development program designed to help them integrate the technology into their classrooms effectively.

The district has selected ActivBoard Touch interactive whiteboards from Promethean, and the company will collaborate with the district to provide the customized professional development.

"The school district is doing more than just purchasing cutting edge technology," wrote Morten Brante, senior vice president, Services Division for Promethean, in an e-mail. "They want to ensure that the technology is properly used in the classroom to motivate their students and engage them in the curriculum. Most people will agree that without proper training an interactive whiteboard is just an expensive projector."

According to Brante, the district and Promethean together will invest in a dedicated full-time professional development team local to the Miami area. "This team will provide the school district with ongoing customized training and continuous education to ensure teaching is driving technology, not technology driving teaching," wrote Brante. "We go beyond training the educators on how to use the technology; we teach innovative techniques in how to incorporate the technology into the curriculum."

The ActivBoard Touch lets two people at a time write on the board using either the ActivPen stylus or a finger, so two students can work on the board simultaneously, or a teacher and student can work together. According to the company's site, the boards also include Promethean ActivInspire Professional Edition software, which lets teachers create interactive lessons for use on the whiteboard. Teachers can also search, view and download prepared lessons or other digital learning resources from Promethean Planet, the company's online repository containing more than 93,000 free teacher resources.

The district will begin installing the ActivBoards later this month and all of the boards are expected to be installed before the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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