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Interactive Smart Board now part of the educational technology at Upstate Golisano Children Hospital

Interactive smart board

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The classroom at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital just got a little smarter.

A Smart Board interactive whiteboard was installed this week in the classroom, located on the 11th floor of the children’s hospital.  The Smart Board is new technology for the children’s hospital, but they are common in classrooms throughout Central New York, and that’s important, says Mary Ellen Michalenko, the hospital’s schoolteacher.

“Familiarity with the technology will be helpful to the students, especially since many lessons in schools today are taught with smart board technology,” Michalenko said.  “With this smart board, we can be as interactive as we want with our assignments in all subject areas.”

The Smart Board, which measures 74 inches wide by 46 inches tall, interfaces with a computer and enables instructors and students to write, draw on the board (with finger or pen) and interact with content anywhere on its surface.  The Smart Board can also be raised and lowered to make the board accessible to tall and small children, as well as those in wheelchairs.

The Smart Board was purchased with funds raised by Lukie’s S.O.U.L. Foundation, which was established to celebrate the life of Luke Vincenzo Frechette, who died at the age of 4 from complications of a rare pediatric cancer.  The Foundation also provided funding for the schoolroom’s “Get Connected” technology, a video system that is used by pediatric patients at home or at the hospital bedside to connect with their classroom in real time. Since the Foundation was created, it has provided more than $300,000 in support for the children’s hospital classroom. (The Foundation will also provide the naming gift for the infant and toddler area of the Upstate Cancer Center.)

With a full complement of technology, now with the SMART Board installed, Michalenko said her students who are all inpatients at the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, have more ways to stay up to date with their class work.

“It’s essential that our patients keep up with their course work, because it makes returning to school that much easier,” said Michalenko, an OCM BOCES teacher who works fulltime in the children’s hospital, and sees more than 150 students annually, some for a couple of days, some for a couple of months “Continuing with their studies also provides a level of normalcy to a life that can for the moment be turned upside down.”

Caption: Alyson Stiles, 14, a student at Carthage High School, is the first Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital patient to use the new smart board that was installed this week in the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital classroom.  With Stiles at the screen is teacher Mary Ellen Michalenko.