New classroom technology debuts at Bark River-Harris School

Haley Gustafson | Daily Press Bark River Harris Elementary School second grade teacher Kristy Erickson uses the school’s new Clevertouch board to explain a math problem last week. The boards, which are replacing the school’s Smartboards, will be implemented in all classrooms throughout the entire Bark River School District over the next three years.

BARK RIVER — The Bark River Harris School District is improving technology throughout the school. Over the summer, the school started the process of phasing out its classroom Smartboards and replacing them with new Clevertouch boards.

Elementary Principal Kelly Erdody said the switch from Smartboard to Clevertouch was needed because the Smartboards were becoming outdated and replacing the parts for some were too costly. With technology advancing everyday, Erdody said keeping up with it is important not only for the students, but also teachers.

“We’re pretty pleased with them,” said Erdody.

Most of the Smartboards within Bark River Harris School were over five years old, noted Erdody.

When elementary students came back to school this year, 10 new Clevertouch boards were in place, explained Erdody. Over the next three years, the school will phase out the Smartboards with the new technology and eventually, Clevertouch will be used school wide.

In order to pay for the new boards, which can cost over $3,000, Erdody said the school made sure the equipment was within its budget.

The new updated touch screen boards are more durable, interactive, and efficient, said Erdody.

WIth its own operating system and WiFi connection, teachers will have an easier time operating the boards. The images on the screens are also clearer, added Erdody.

“The imaging is beautiful,” said Erdody.

According to the Clevertouch website, the boards offer an “interactive display with it’s own built-in app store letting you start teaching straight from the box. Uniquely, the Clevertouch works without attaching a PC (although you can do that as well).” In addition, the boards also have over 100 educational apps that teachers can utilize.

Each teacher will receive individualized training and technology support on the Clevertouch boards, noted Erdody, as they navigate the new system.

Fifth grade teacher Connie Wells said updated technology has benefited her classroom greatly.

“It gives me a lot of extra support,” said Wells, adding students get a fuller view of a way they can solve mathematical problems while also being tied into the core curriculum.