Don DeMello, coordinator for classroom technology services at Oregon State University, explained the decision to choose Hitachi. “The shortcut buttons on both sides of the StarBoard, allowing a user to operate programmed functions from either side of the board, was a major feature. Additionally, the StarBoard doesn’t require any pens to annotate on the surface and when our faculty evaluated the StarBoard versus other interactive whiteboards, the consensus was that Hitachi’s solution was more intuitive in the feature controls.”
In addition to the technology advantages, Mr. DeMello believed the training and support offered by Hitachi was also instrumental in the University effectively implementing the technology. “Molly Montoya, education and training consultant for Hitachi Software, provided our faculty with three hour-long introduction sessions in the fall and we had over 30 faculty members attend the training sessions,” stated Mr. DeMello.
Beginning in the Spring 2010 term, the Physics Department will have officially begun teaching its calculus-based Physics courses, while utilizing the new Hitachi interactive whiteboard technology.
“I strongly believe that if students are actively engaged in the learning environment, it allows them to use and practice skills and lessons they are being introduced to. Also, the ability to witness others work in a collaborative environment provides them with a better perspective,” added Mr. DeMello.
While Oregon State University is still in the beginning stages of working with the StarBoards, Mr. DeMello sees the potential to expand the technology into other areas of the college. “We look to this new Physics lab classroom as it introduces the ‘no front’ collaborative style of teaching to other departments on campus. Our vision is that more classrooms with this style of interactive teaching will be requested, designed and installed.”
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