5 lessons learned from replacing whiteboards with touchscreens

Do your homework and test the tech carefully

Allow portability. Teaching doesn’t only happen at the front of the classroom — it also happens on the sides and at the back. We purchased the displays bundled with media carts to make them portable, allowing them to move around classrooms as needed.

Learn from the past. Previously, our schools had been using portable interactive whiteboards, but if the boards were ever bumped or jarred, they would go out of calibration and it would take time to recalibrate them. The calibration issues were eliminated with the display and cart bundle – and we also were able to use the monitors as one piece of equipment to replace both projectors and interactive whiteboards.

Test out the tech. We deployed the monitors in middle schools first, because our experience is that teachers of that population have more flexibility to change the way they do things. Middle school students can be especially restless, and we’ve been successfully using blended learning centers to keep them interested, giving students the opportunity to learn with the monitors as well as one on one with the teacher.

DCPS now has 2,500 interactive displays across our schools, and we plan to have an interactive display in all core classrooms in each of our 45 secondary schools for the 2016-2017 school year. So far we’ve tripled the number of interactive devices in student hands thanks to our superintendent, who was supportive of our goals.

Feedback from students and teachers has been positive, and we plan to continue to grow student use of the monitors. At DCPS, we believe that using interactive displays to facilitate learning will help us in our quest to set students up for success, giving them the best possible opportunities, and new ways to learn and grow.

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