No More Smartboards

No+More+Smartboards

Jack Magargee

Malvern has decided to get rid of most of the Smartboards in the school in favor of Chromecast.

If you’ve been around Malvern since the start of the school year, you might have noticed a lack of smartboards. Well, they’re gone. Get over it. Now we have Chromecast.

For those unfamiliar, Chromecast is a device made by Google through which you can stream the feed from a device such as a phone or laptop to a displaying device such as a projector or television.

Chromecast was originated for and popularized by its ability to stream video.However, its popularity is hurt by the widespread use of competitive devices such as Smart TV’s and Apple TV.

A classroom application for Chromecast is not uncommon. That’s not to say it’s popular, it’s just not uncommon. Its main service is the streaming of videos; it was not created to display an entire monitor screen for extended periods of time.

“The appeal of the Chromecast is combined with the Chromebooks we’re using and the touch screens,” Technology Support Specialist Mr. Nathan Duane said. “You have a touch screen anywhere in the classroom, which generally means that Chromecast can incorporate more people and technologies into the classrooms than smartboards.”

If you have seen Chromecast in use in a classroom, you probably noticed how often the feed becomes disconnected, especially when switching windows.

This problem comes from the fact the Chromecast is primarily a video streaming device. It was not made to switch between windows or programs. Responding to that request is not its expected job so it just disconnects.

“It’s hard to learn with a broken Chromecast,” sophomore Tim McLaughlin said. “Without smartboards or a working Chromecast, it’s tough to stay involved in class.”

Chromecast does have its upsides.

“I’ve only used it a few times. It’s been fine,” Social Studies Department Leader Mrs. Beverly Gordon said. “Every time I’ve needed it, it’s been there.”

Chromecast has more realistic applications by subject. For example, a teacher who is more likely to use visuals and videos in the curriculum, is more likely to use Chromecast than a teacher who has little need for visual support.

Chromecast is changing the nature by which we take in information in the classroom and stay engaged while doing so. It is one of the more significant changes to Malvern this year.