Albany Academies make a 'smart' move

The sound of nails on a chalkboard is a distant nightmare for students and teachers at the Albany Academy and Albany Academy for Girls, as an unconventional form of blackboard has recently been donated to the schools.

Eighteen boards, called Smartboards, were donated as a combined gift from the Albany Academy and Albany Academy for Girls Class of 1958. With them, teachers will be able to teach courses such as science and math using interactive technology that combines the white board with computer software.

With them, teachers can play a video and then stop the video in the middle and draw on the video frame, pointing specific things out to the students, said Academic Dean for Albany Academies Stacey Giordano.

This type of classroom technology seems to benefit students even outside of the classroom, as the digital "notes" the teacher can take on the board can be saved, copied and even sent over the Internet to each student in the class.

It is considerations like these that influenced the Class of '58 when they were deciding on a class gift to donate to the schools.

"We decided we wanted to do something that was more permanent than the endowment for scholarships or for professors or that sort of thing," said Peter Kermani, a member of the class and of the committee that decided on the Smartboards.

"We wanted to do something that would have an immediate benefit to the school and help them with attracting new students."

Kermani said the committee was fascinated with what the students can do with the Smartboards after he received his own demonstration.

"It makes the student part of the educational process in a way that was never thought possible when I was there," he said. "Now they can sit there with their laptops and not only answer questions, and all of them do it in their own way, but they have access to all the information that's on the Internet."

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