A new and technologically advanced method of learning and teaching has invaded the Gowanda School District.
SMART boards appeared in some classrooms last school year, but only if teachers applied for them.
When students returned to school in September, they found a SMART Board in nearly every room they entered.
A SMART Board, one of the many learning products made by SMART Technologies, looks just like a dry-erase board, but is obviously a bit more advanced. This board is mounted on the wall and connected to the teacher's computer. A projector hanging from the ceiling casts what is on the computer screen onto the board, and the board basically becomes a giant computer screen. Think of the board as a touch screen, and begin "double-clicking" away on the computer desktop.
"[SMART boards] are the key point of the 21st century classroom," said Gowanda High School principal Robert Anderson.
This necessary luxury was bought for Gowanda's many classrooms in bulk, reducing the price considerably.
Assistant Superintendent Kimberly Moritz said the first few SMART Boards Gowanda purchased were around $2,600 each. The newest ones cost less at $2,305. The school district saved money by having the regular maintenance department install them.
Some of Gowanda's students are mesmerized by this jaw-dropping technology, while others are nostalgic.
"I guess it's better for the students, but I just want to go back to the good ol' days," said Gowanda sophomore Brittany Reid. "Teachers seem more focused on this new technology than on the students."
Global Studies teacher Mark Leous loves his SMART Board. Dubbed the "LEOUS Board," Leous enjoys incorporating it into lessons he's taught for more than 30 years. "The kids are more interested in looking at the notes," said Leous. He retired his old overhead projector, and moved on to bigger and better things.
When asked if he missed his chalkboard and chalk, Leous shook his head and said, "No way, Jose!"
Emily Steves is a sophomore at Gowanda.