Remember those snazzy interactive whiteboards being used in National City classrooms?

They’re also being employed further south, in San Ysidro schools. And San Ysidro has gone a step further, putting them in every classroom. In comparison, the boards are currently in place in half of National School District classes, depending on whether a teacher opts for them or not.

Frank Paredes, director of technology for San Ysidro School District, said the district installed boards in every classroom this summer, at a $1.3 million cost, after trying out the boards at Ocean View Elementary. Every classroom got one, with no opt-out provision for teachers.

“This was a district-wide initiative to really get us into the 21st century,” Paredes said. “The old traditional book style isn’t cutting it anymore. These kids are into text-messaging and MySpace. Teaching them out of a book isn’t going to work.”

A San Ysidro teacher e-mailed me about the technology after I quoted the County Office of Education’s statement that National schools had adopted interactive whiteboards more enthusiastically than other districts, and were unique among schools with their demographic in doing so. (San Ysidro, like National schools, has a high percentage of English learners and low-income students.) The County Office of Education didn’t work with San Ysidro schools on the project, Paredes said.

EMILY ALPERT

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