eBeam Edge for Class: Teacher Erik Wittmer
Position: 5th grade teacher
District/School: South Western School District, PA
Number of Students in District/School: 4,000
Product: eBeam Edge by Luidia
My main objective, first and foremost, is to increase and maintain student engagement. Keeping my kids focused is a monumental challenge, especially in an age of cell phones, email and other interactive technology. A lot of teachers feel tied to the laptop, but in many cases, the “stand and lecture” method just isn’t very efficient for encouraging students to actively think about lesson material. I needed a technology tool that could make my job easier and, more importantly, learning more effective and fun.
Everyone in the classroom loves the Luidia eBeam Edge, especially my students who use the technology to “become the teacher.” The kids use the interactive stylus themselves to participate in interactive lessons projected onto the board. They have become so comfortable handling the eBeam system that they are able to explore new uses for the system and even troubleshoot when issues arise, turning classroom technology into a learning experience in and of itself.
I’m able to annotate my presentations, pull in media files from Discovery Streaming online and incorporate content from the eBeam image gallery to be shared later. I also save my lessons as WMV files, and post them to the class Moodle for absent students to view at a later date. Parents are also thankful for eBeam’s ability to foster learning, even outside of the classroom environment—at home.
Whenever I show my eBeam to the other teachers they are impressed with the technology, and want one for their own classroom. I had an eBeam Inscribe that I passed on to one of the kindergarten teachers, who now uses it to connect with my classroom. My 5th graders show them via eBeam how to write basic letter formations and learn the alphabet. Working with the younger students not only helps foster collaboration within the school, but gives my students an added sense of responsibility and self-esteem.
Setting up the eBeam Edge is incredibly easy. All I had to do was install the software and I was ready to go. Another huge advantage is its portability. I did a presentation to some grad students recently and just threw my eBeam in my backpack and took it with me. Even on the go, I was able to present more effectively, and engage with my audience without being tethered to my laptop.
How We Use It:
One of the ways I try to make learning fun, while accomplishing necessary administrative responsibilities, is by creatively combining tasks using eBeam. For example, my students use the eBeam Edge interactive tool palette to sign their names in the color that represents the meal they want for lunch each morning, which also doubles as my way of taking morning attendance.
By using Skype and eBeam, one of my students who had surgery, and had to be out of classroom for three weeks, was able to keep up with the curriculum and not skip a beat in her coursework.
The eBeam connection to the Amazon Kindle is particularly exciting to me. eReaders are great for students with learning differences, such as dyslexia. The ability to highlight text and have it pronounced and defined helps the learning process of many students.
I can’t emphasize enough how easy my eBeam Edge is to use. I’ve become so reliant on it. Another thing I must mention is the customer service behind the product. The Ludia team is extremely responsive to any questions, or needs I have. I think that’s a significant advantage that comes from working with an innovative and nimble company.
I’m currently working on additional grants to get more eBeam Edges into my school. Word has been spreading, and I’ve been speaking with various teachers and administrators about how easy it is to set up, as well as how portable and powerful eBeam is in the classroom. Not only are students empowered to actively engage with lessons by interacting on the board, and students, who are absent, can obtain the interactive lessons they missed. The price is great, which allows us to make the most with what we have.