Monday, September 20, 2010

SMART Board Progression: Experience Takes Time

In this blog post, I would like to discuss my history on using SMART Boards and SMART Notebook software. As well, this post will provide resources to teachers learning about new ways to use their SMART Board.
I recall back in 1998, I applied to SMARTerkids foundation (I don't think it exists anymore)for a grant for our first SMART Board at our school. We received one, along with a projector. Everything was on a cart, and the SMART Board was on wheels. I soon learned that using the SMART board was a pain, and sychronizing it was continuous. So I decided to use the projector more than the SMART Board. Showing lesson examples, videos and demonstrations using the projector was excellent. The students loved the visuals.
Eventually the SMART Board was placed on a wall in my classroom (to get it out of the library. The next step was to figure out how kids could use it. One of the first websites I remember using was for interactive games on the SMART Board. It isn't the best of the web material out there now, but maybe at teh time. Students were engaged and excited about interacting using the SMART Board. More websites came and the SMART Board became a centre for augmenting learning.
But there had to be more. SMART Notebook was in early development and until some training came along, there was not much use with Notebook. Enter Notebook 10.0. I began developing interative lessons and learning activities for my students. It became a great centre for learning.
Not until 2009 did I realize the potential of Notebook for student use. Since then I have been showing students how to create Notebook presentations that are filled with games from the Activity 2.0 toolkit, video, and links to external websites. The student creation is what it is all about.
To sum it up, the progression of SMART Board and Notebook use for me was:
1. Showing video
2. Finding Interactive sites for students
3. Creating interactive games and lessons for students
4. Having students use Notebook to create their own interactive presentaions.
So if you are new to a SMART Board, take your time, learn ways to use it, have fun with your students, and let them create. SMART Exchange Is a great link to find uploaded teacher lessons.

1 comment:

  1. Great way to sum up, the SMART progression. I would agree that this is the progression I have observed in myself and other teachers. When people look down upon simply using a Smartboard as a glorified projector, it makes me cringe. This is a starting point! As long as it is acknowledged as such, and the teacher knows they need to progress further, there is nothing wrong with it! We can't push teachers to venture too far past their comfort point or they won't progress at all.