Interactive Technologies Limited (ITL) has announced that St. Columbas College has purchased several Inspire interactive whiteboards. The 80 interactive whiteboards (worlds largest touchboards) are being actively incorporated into lessons for several subjects, including ICT, maths and history. As well as using ITLs own Interact annotation software, St. Columbas has also purchased pre-prepared interactive lessons.

St. Columbas College is an independent college in St. Albans in Hertfordshire. The College comprises Senior, Prep and Pre-Prep Departments covering ages four to eighteen years.

Steve Leadbetter is Head of ICT at St. Columbas College and is also responsible for specifying and purchasing interactive whiteboard equipment and software. He comments, From the very beginning, we wanted the requirement for interactive whiteboards to come from the teachers themselves rather than us imposing the technology upon them. We wanted to create a bubbling up effect where teachers would see the benefits other classes were gaining and would come to us to get the equipment they needed.

Having identified the software they wanted to use, St. Columbas carried out a review of the available interactive whiteboard and projector equipment available. We really liked the flexibility of the ITL Inspire whiteboards. Other boards required a special pen in order to write on the boards, whereas the ITL boards could use any pointing device, including a finger, to interact. In a school environment, the last thing you want is to be relying on a piece of equipment that can easily get lost. The Inspire boards were also clearly very well made and robust enough to handle the day-to-day rigours of a bustling boys college.

Ian Devereux, Head of Mathematics at the College, uses an interactive whiteboard for most of his lessons, I have been using several applications on the whiteboard, including Autograph, and I have seen a real improvement in the level of interest in the classes. The students are really enthusiastic about it and this is a great help in the lessons. I also use the Interact annotation software to write over the worksheets on the screen and also to save, print and retrieve screens.

Clare Powlesland is Head of History and is another teacher delighted with the ITL whiteboards, I am really pleased with the boards. They make the lessons a more interesting and interactive experience for the students and they respond really well to it. Interactive whiteboards have definitely become an important part of the teachers tool kit to help develop students learning capabilities. We can use the whiteboards to access the internet and visit web sites and then use that information in an interactive environment. We are keen to encourage more and more teachers to have the confidence to get the most from the technology.

Nicholas OSullivan, the Headmaster of St. Columbas College, comments, I am pleased to see the way in which technology of this kind can complement and refine the academic challenge I wish to see teachers providing for students at the College. The capability the technology affords for gaining access to the world-wide-web and its resources provides a boost both to resources and to the confidence of users. It is a great asset in the enhancement of teaching and learning in our community.

Steve Leadbetter concludes, We currently have six ITL whiteboards and are looking to extend this to several more over the coming months. More and more teachers are seeing the benefits being gained by the departments that already have them and we will be happy to provide them with the technology as soon as they are ready to receive it.

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