Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's Wrong with this Picture?


There isn't much to say about this photo.

Just in case you don't recognize the players, it is an Overhead Projector positioned to shine transparencies onto a Promethean interactive whiteboard. A document camera (left) is at the ready as well.


What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Photo: Robin Galloway


  1. Lance9:47 AM

    Now all you need is a laptop being used as a paperweight. Some poeple just don't "get it"

  2. Anonymous10:47 AM

    Oh my!! No words...

  3. Anonymous11:20 AM

    No only do they have the overhead projector being used on the whiteboard, there is a document camera in the corner, looks like it isn't being used properly either. :(

  4. Unfortunately, I have seen this far too often. Some teachers do this because no one wants to pay for the projector bulbs that go with the board’s projector. Some do this because they are not willing to make the move to the newer technology. We have unused document cameras on campuses for the same reasons. Once a district has made the decision to put an interactive whiteboard into a classroom, they must also have a plan for replacing burnt out bulbs immediately since it is the key link to the whole system. Want to see something really sad? How about a room outfitted with working SMARTBoards where people come to do presentations with flip charts and butcher paper! Arrrgghhhh!!

  5. As the first district in the US to do a systemwide implementation of the Promethean activclassroom solution, I can honestly say we saw the exact same thing happen shortly after the install.

    But within months we also saw this:

    The tool is just a tool until the teacher makes instructional decisions about how to use it. And I would hope that content drives how the tool is used not the other way around. Sure, IWB can be used as expensive screens and it happens all the time. There is a place for an IWB in a classroom as a transformational learning tool. I've witnessed it myself.

    It does take immense focus on professional learning and the willingness of a teacher to shift their instructional style.

  6. First, with interactive whiteboard, creating transparencies is just redundant work. You don't need use overhead projector any more since every document can be presented by computer through the projector to the whiteboard.
    Second, the overhead projector is out-of-date equipment. It should be replaced by visualizer.
    Third, new brand interactive whiteboard can both save money and bring innovation user experience.
    IPBoard is one of the best choice. With very competitive price, quality and new feature, IPBoard is amazing.

  7. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Jill. I like how you say "The tool is just a tool until the teacher makes instructional decisions about how to use it."

    I think that you should follow it with "Then the tool becomes a solution."


  8. Anonymous6:09 PM

    What gets me is there looks like there is a document camera off to the side. So assuming the computer projector is working this even more of a waste of resources.

    There is currently a pile of overhead projectors in the librarian's office. A bunch of teachers received doc cameras and projectors last week. They were eager to turn their overheads in - but the librarian is on FMLA.

  9. This is proof of lack of professional development. Teachers need time to learn how to use new technology. Sadly, companies come in and sell the equipment, but don't back it up with training.

  10. Anonymous11:05 PM

    OMG! This photo suggests the need for school leaders to invest in the necessary support and professional development for teachers so they can be empowered to make the appropriate instructional decisions with technology.

    Providing the technology hardware in the classroom without ongoing staff development and support does not result in widespread change and transformation i the learning environment!

  11. LOL...This is typical of many our colleagues' attitudes to tech. The first reaction to installation of new hardware is to look for how it will automate their prefered teaching method and make their life easier. When it doesn't obviously do this...they say " whats the point then?" and carry on with the "tried and tested" ways. As so many others have said, ongoing PD is essential. My mantra these days is: "its not an ICT issue...Its a personnel issue" I have suggested a strategy for helping tech-phobic teachers here:

  12. I agree with Mrs. Hawkenson's comment. Effective professional development needs to be in place. These companies, and even some technologists "in-house", need go beyond the "how do I use this" stage and emphasize why, what, and when to use technology tied to curriculum standards and engaging learners. It's also obvious that many of these companies don't have former teachers or instructional designers on their team to develop much needed authentic meaningful PD.

  13. Anonymous2:48 PM

    I sell technology too. There are those that don't know and there are those that don't want to know.

  14. Hey, different strokes!

    Everybody starts somewhere.

    And, yes you can use a Ming vase as a hammer....once!

  15. Sadly, this is the case in many Waterloo classrooms. We have the technology, but teachers are so resistant to change or intimidated by learning a new system, our Promethean Boards are just expensive LCD screens.

  16. Sorry to hear about that, Maggie.

    If you could plan the professional development for the Promethean boards, what would you do?


  17. Dr. Z,

    This is Maggie, but I am using my son's computer, and when I first went to post this it said "Joseph". It ain't him, it is me!!

    I would walk them through the early necessary pieces, hooking it up, problem solving, and how to use the clickers, until I was sure they got it. Then, I would make them demonstrate all the steps, to confirm to me and to themselves that they fully grasp all the little keys and feel like they can function without assistance from the new 21 year old teacher or the tech guru in their building.
    If they do not have the rudiments mastered, they are not going to have the self-confidence to move on and try all the other tools that come with our board. We need to start with the basics, including the lexicon, and demystify the whole process. I believe that is why so many teachers are so resistant to try the boards, they feel completely intimidated by each step and that makes them feel vulnerable. No one likes to fee like a sittin' duck and technology, for many of us, might as well be in a foreign language. If, for example, I do not understand how to align my pen with the board, a very simple step, I cannot use my board. Then, I would have to call the tech guy and have him help me, and then when I saw how rediculously simple it is, I would be embarrassed to call him back. It would be easier to just use it as an LCD screen. I know how to do that with confidence and I won't feel stupid. Basics and explaining why each step is necessary or what function it serves so I can get the big picture helps me a LOT!

    I think it would also be helpful to have someone who isn't a natural at it teach it. They are going to make sure and mention all the "little things" that they had to be told to do, where as someone more technologically savvy, would have just "known" to do from previous similar experiences.


  18. Sadly I have seen this more than once..and the teachers I have asked about this seem to think that the computer enabled boards did the exact same job as the overhead..Grr.


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