GLENDALE—Lida Gevorkian has always incorporated technology and multimedia into her science lessons at Chamlian Armenian School. It is no surprise to now find her using a “Smart Board” that enables her to scrawl her lecture notes on the board with the use of her finger tip, integrate technological presentations right on the white board, and keep her class engaged with impromptu interactive quizzes. Through technologically enhanced lessons like this, Mrs. Gevorkian and her fellow teachers are bringing education to life.
Chamlian Armenian School has always prided itself on staying ahead of the technology curve. The school’s latest endeavor is Chamlian’s Classroom of the Future. The Smart Board technology represents a milestone in Chamlian’s technological journey that has made a huge impact on students, teachers and parents. “Our vision is to give our students the best tools available for them to learn actively while preparing them for the technology of tomorrow,” said Principal Vazken Madenlian.
Chamlian’s Dad’s Club is a key driver and supporter of the vision for the Classroom of the Future. Ed Matevosian and Ara Karapetian, two active members of the group, initiated the introduction of the Smart Board. The Dad’s Club members met with Principal Vazken Madenlian and visited Smart Technologies, the manufacturer of the Smart Board. After learning more about the technology and the impact it could have on the classroom environment, the group decided the Smart Board would be an ideal first step in realizing the vision of the Classroom of the Future. The Dad’s club regularly holds fund raising events, and has raised more than $30,000 for the school.
Mark Mgirdichian, another member of the Dad’s club, has also been an integral part of this project. Mgirdichian is a manager with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Since learning of Wells Fargo’s matching contribution program, which provides employees the opportunity to receive matching donations for qualified organizations, Mgirdichian has worked to collect and donate more than $40,000 over the past few years.
Over the Christmas holiday, the first Smart Board was installed at Chamlian, and is currently used by the science and math departments. As the school evaluates the technology and its impact on learning, plans are being developed for the next step in realizing the Classroom of the Future. The results of the new tool have already been impressive.
Before the Smart Board was installed, Gevorkian would use standard presentation software that required a great deal of manual interaction and a separate whiteboard for her teaching notes. The new Smart Board has brought a level of interaction to her classroom that has made lessons more effective. “With this technology, I don’t have to divide my time between instructing and interfacing with the technology at my computer. I can now teach the class while seamlessly incorporating this cutting edge technology,” said Gevorkian.
Perhaps the most interesting feedback has come from the students themselves. When asked what the students thought about the Smart Board and its effect on the classroom experience, nearly every hand in the room shot up. “Awesome… Wonderful… Great,” some of the students shouted. Adding to the overwhelming feedback, 8th grade student Isabella Jorbajian said, “Because it is so exciting and engaging, kids are paying more attention and getting more involved in the learning process.”