Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SMART Board

As a few other students stated in class last Tuesday, I too had never used the Smart Board before. The first time I had even saw one was last semester when it was being used in a classroom at BJHS.

I think that the Smart Board is a great tool that is especially beneficial to the teacher. I really like how you can go to websites or open a document and highlight or point things out for the students, and explain exactly what you want them to do by showing them on the actual document as well as verbally saying it. I also like how it keeps the students and the teacher involved with each other as well as the board, everyone is looking at the same thing at the same time.

I also think it is a good tool for the students. Though it would be nice if more than one student could use the Smart Board at the same time, students who are not up at the board can still participate and stay involved. The one thing I especially like about Smart Board is (at least for right now) students are drawn to using the smart board and are excited about it which is also drawing them into learning. I thought it was cute how in the article the students were saying, "My finger is magic" and "the board is magic." Being able to enteract with the smart board really seemed to engage them into the lessons. Learning becomes fun for the students, something students want to actively play a part in.

One thing I also really liked about the article was the different perspectives- observations from the US as well as Australia and the United Kingdom. It is neat to see how the Smart Boards are being used here and what the benefits are and what the research shows but it is also really cool to see the the similarities in findings elsewhere.

Smartboard Technology

Like most others have said, I agree that Smartboards seem to be a great addition to today's classrooms. Many students are intrigued by them because they are so accustomed to using technology in their daily lives, and they find learning more fun when it is more interactive. In my opinion, this is by far the most significant advantage of the Smartboard. Looking back on my own education, I feel as though Smartboards would have enhanced my learning experience by providing more opportunities to interact and take part in what I learned in class. Especially at the elementary level, I remember learning things best when the activity was fun and interesting. With all of the interactive activities that the Smartboard has to offer, I feel as though it would definitely make learning more fun for younger students.

However, as I read this article I couldn't help but think of the potential downfalls of using Smartboards. As others have mentioned, one of the major drawbacks is that only one person can write on the board at a time, which may slow down certain activities. I would also be hesitant while using it with younger elementary students because the abundance of activities and options available may be more distracting than helpful if they are not utilized effectively. However, if teachers are trained properly on how to use the Smartboard and if they do not rely solely on it for their instruction, I believe the Smartboard can be a very beneficial addition to the classroom.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Smart Boards

Spending time exploring and learning about all of the possible uses for smart boards this past week in class has really opened my eyes to the benefits of having one in the classroom. The students can really become involved in the lesson, whether it is more lecture based or activity based. I think that taking the time to create interactive lessons with this new technology can really enhance the learning experience.

I had no idea that there were so many different possibilities for activities on the smart board. I remember in high school I had a math class that used a smart board, but I don't think my teacher at the time made good use of it. All she did was use the marker tool instead of writing on the chalkboard. At that time I didn't see the value of having one in the classroom. If she had put some of the tools she had access to use I think it would have made a world of difference for me. The new understanding I have of Smart Board technology has shown me that any subject can benefit from this, which is great since I am going to teach at the elementary level and therefore need these kinds of technology for all subject areas.

I can see the definite value in using Smart Boards with younger students. Not only will they pay more attention and have more fun, they can get instant feedback while learning. For example, in an activity that requires a student to drag a term to the proper category, if the student gets it wrong he or she will know right away and learn the correct relationship between the category and term. He won't have to wait a few days to get a quiz or test back.

I am really looking forward to continue exploring the possible uses of the Smart board and implementing it in my future classroom.

Smartboards

I think this article clearly illustrates the benefits of using the Smartboard technology in classrooms. Putting aside the obvious bias that is present due to the fact that the article was written by the Smartboard company itself, it was interesting to read about the advantages interactive classroom activities present for students. I hadn't really thought too much about how hard it must be for students who better understand material if they are physically involved in it until reading this article. Smartboards allow students to be active and participate in a way regular discussion or note taking does not. Not only will this help teachers keep the attention of students, especially elementary students, but it will keep students themselves interested and involved in what is being taught. Thinking mainly of elementary students, I have seen, through coaching at BJHS, the excitement sixth graders experience when they get to write on the board in the rainbow or colorful pens. Overall, I think Smartboard is a great technology that really can only help make classrooms more engaging and effective for the next generation.

SmartBoard

I do agree with this blog to some extent. During my student teaching experience, I did notice that students were much more motivated to participate in my lessons when they had an opportunity to come up to the Smartboard and manipulated different objects, solve problems, and show their work. My student with ADD/ADHD would particularly benefit from using the Smartboard because it interested them and they would be more willing to pay attention if the Smarboard was involved.

I do believe, however, that this article plays up the Smartboard's ability to enhance student understanding and review processes. In order for the student's understanding to be enhanced, the teacher must first know how to use the Smartboard effectively. The article seems to assume that all teachers are proficient using the Smartboard. In my opinion, the Smartboard will be of no help until the teacher is trained to use it properly. At the beginning of my student teaching experience, I primarily used it as a whiteboard and didn't use many of the applications available. I wouldn't say that my student's learning was enhanced by the Smartboard at this point, especially because it was just being used as a board to write on. Had I been more trained to use all the programs, I feel that I would have been able to accommodate a variety of learning styles and enhance student understanding and review processes like the article claimed.

Smartboard Learning

The impression I got from the reading was that the Smart board will really revitalize teaching and learning. Math was referenced a couple of times during the article, about how students responded more to math lessons, improved their learning, and that the Smart board was more fit for mathematical concepts, especially geometry. With all the possibilities to actively include students in mathematical lessons, I believe interactive white boards will really change how math is taught and viewed by students.

Also, I believe that the Smart board is an advancement for helping individual students because it allows teachers to have lesson plans ready, easy to access, and gives them the ability to work with the students individually while the lesson is going on. This will allow better teaching and understanding of the material, as well as positive association with math classes.

Smart Board reading

This reading about the Smart Board really solidifed my view that it a key tool in the classroom of today and tomorrow. It is nice to know that there is such a technology out there to engage children in learning. We had a Smart Board at my grade school and it was so cool to use in english class when we were writing stories and doing grammar activities. Since then, I have used the Smart Board once or twice in high school. Now, I would like to have one in my own classroom, if possible. I like how in the article it really stressed how the Smart Board appeals to different types of learners. It does not matter if you are a visual or kinesthetic learner or have special needs, YOU can use the Smart Board to enhance your learning experience. Also, because of its wide range of learning activites, teachers can use it for almost any subject. One can disect a frog or go over parts of the body with the skeleton. In math, there is the spinner and dice you can use for probability. There is even a manipulative to use in learning how to write cursive letters. It's great! I also like the games you can use to make learning a little more fun. As the article describes, it is extremely user friendly as well. They make it very simple to manipulate text, pictures, and charts in you lessons. All of the icons are also very easy to identify as well. Overall, I really like the Smart Board and all of the things it can do to make learning fun, easy, and interactive.

Smart Board

I found that working with the samrt board creates many different and new opportunities for a teacher to expand the classroom. I could see it being very useful for elementary ed teachers since it will be a very good way to keep the students attentive with all of the different creative tools which come with the smart board. It also has very useful games and simulators which could work from any variety of subject, from grammar games for english to virtual frog dissection in science. As a history major, the tool which I found to be most useful would be the interactive maps. It would clearly be a useful tool when teaching geography, but it will also be very helpful when discussing wars, or even ancient empires. One criticism I do have about the smart board from my breif experiences with them is that many of their tools and activities seem to be very geared toward elementary classrooms, and they don't seem to have many High School level activities. Hopefully with more time and more usage the smart board will become an essential for any level teacher.

Interactive Whiteboards and Learning response

I found the article to be interesting, however I think it is also biased. The article is from SMART Technologies Inc., so it is clearly in their best interest to publish the success of the interactive white board. While I was reading it, I couldn't help but think that everything was a little too positive and there was not even one small complaint. That being said, I do agree that interactive white boards can be a positive addition to any classroom. I also agree that they can pull students in and keep them engaged for a longer period of time. I think they can also increase the motivation of a student, who might be willing to put in a little extra effort for a chance to go up to the board. I would be interested, however, in seeing a study on how long students continue to put in that extra effort. Like anything new, there is definitely a "wow" factor, which the article talks about. However, the article doesn't address if/when this wow factor decreases, which I'm sure it does. I don't think a teacher can count on wowing her students with the interactive whiteboard, I think that is more of a short term benefit.

One problem that I do have with the Smart board is that only one student at a time can be using it. I think having more than one person at the board at a time is a vital part of at least my teaching. I have dozens of lesson plans that include various people at the board at the same time answering questions, filling in charts, brainstorming ideas, etc. For example, one lesson I taught involved reflecting on the different aspects of Day of the Dead. As a quick warm up activity, I wrote "El Día de los Muertos" at the top of the white board and had students come up and write anything they remembered about this holiday. I had about five markers, meaning that at any time there were multiple students writing. After this initial brainstorming, I used what was on the board to first review what we knew and then transition into the new lesson. Had only one student been able to be at the board at a time, I don't think I would have done this lesson. It would have been too time consuming and I feel like I would have lost the attention of certain students while they waited their turn to add something to the list.

A part of the article that I completely agree with is the benefits for teachers. While student teaching, my main source of technology was the overheard projector. After teaching a lesson, I kept the transparencies, however I can't explain how often I wanted to refer back to notes from the previous days/weeks. A lot of times I wanted to refer back to the notes/ activities to help clarify a random student question, which means I didn't always have the exact transparency at hand. I know a lot of time was wasted while I pulled out the stack of transparencies and started flipping through them, looking for the correct one. I would have loved to have been able to use the technology the Smart board offers in saving notes/activities and easily referring back to them at a later time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Smart Board

Since I never used Smart Boards in school, it was interesting to learn about the impact they can have on the learning environment. I agree that Smart Boards would create streamline lessons. Teacher can incorporate many aspects into one lesson a Smart Board. Each lesson can include notes, manipulative, and other interactive aspects. The Smart Board is a tool that meets the needs of every student. Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners would all benefit from using a Smart Board. Since they current students are an increasingly technologically driven generation, it is important to connect them to the digital world in the classroom. Using technology motivates students to participation in the lessons. The interaction between the students and the lessons creates an interactive environment. I agree with the author that using a Smart Board keeps the teacher and students connected. Smart Boards do not separate teachers from the students as computers sometimes can.

I can’t wait to use Smart Board in my future classroom. I plan on using a Smart Board every day in the classroom, since it creates an interactive learning environment which motivates students to achieve in the classroom. I am excited to learn more about the Smart Board because I never had the opportunity to use on when I was in school.

Smart board reading

One section of the reading I connected to most was when the author talked about student engagement and how smart board plays in to it. I strongly believe that students who are put in a classroom with an active and engaging atmosphere, will learn more effectively. Having students work in groups, use computers, ask questions, express ideas, and many other things will result in students having a much more active learning experience. An active learning experience is something smart boards can help make happen in many classrooms. When the author talked about observations from the United States, one thing I found interesting was the students reaction just from the experience of touching the smart board. Many first graders said "it felt like magic!" The common responses from younger students toward the smart board showed how the smart board created an enthusiasm towards learning for many students. The smart board helps engage students in the learning experience, which I think is so awesome. This enthusiasm then brings about motivation in the classroom.

In conclusion, the smart board is a great new device that can help motivate and encourage students towards active learning. By allowing students to interact with the smart board, students feel in control and this helps the learning process in classrooms.

SMART board reading

I found the teacher preparation section of the reading to be especially interesting. In the section concerning the observations from the United Kingdom it was stated that teachers felt that lesson preparation was reduced when using the smart board technology. I can see this going both ways. On one hand, the smart board can save time when creating resources for a lesson such as the number card example given in the reading. It would also be easy to save and adjust smart board lessons for future use. However, at the same time, I feel that to create a truly effective lesson on a smart board it would be very time-consuming. There are so many choices and possibilities when adding multi-media and interactive aspects that I feel like it could take a long time to put everything together. I guess we will find out when we start creating our own smart board lessons next week!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Iwandlearning reading

First of all I had no idea that smart boards have been around since 1991.  That is crazy!  I feel like computers were still being worked on and people were already working with the idea of an interactive touch computer. 

Another thing I found very interesting was the amount of emphases the article placed on students being able to interact with the material they are learning.  When I stopped to think about it I realized that I really do learn better when I am engaged and able to physically do something with the material.  As the article says the smart board is a great way to have kids interact with the material.   

I also found the fact that the smart board is used in several countries very interesting.  Because the smart board is so successful in these other countries it seems that it truly is the technology that will soon be in every classroom. 

The fact that the smart board can be used to teach all children with different needs seems to me to be one of the biggest benefits of using it in the classroom.  The one example that the reading gives which really sticks out to me is how the smart board can be used to help visually impaired students.  When first looking at this problem it seems that the smart board will fail, however, upon further investigation of the smart boards properties we see that with its vast amount of tools the smart board has the ability to enlarge text and even read words for students who may need the extra help. 

All in all through this reading I have found much more evidence as to why the smart board seems to be the ultimate tool in teaching in the classroom.  It seems to me that the smart board can do countless things for every subject in school, and that is why I believe the smart board will be a very powerful tool.  

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Readings

One thing I learned from this reading was that you can create acrostics in almost any application, including spreadhseets. I origianally would think that Word would be the best place to have students make an acrostic, and would have never even thought to use spreadsheets. Due to my experience in class working with Excel, I now would feel very comfortable having students create an acrostic in Excel with my guidance. I also learned that you can make timelines in spreadsheet software. I had no idea! Additionally, in class I learned how to make an interactive quiz using Excel. I learned how to make the quiz so that students would get immediate feedback as to whether or not their answers are correct. This also helps for assessment purposes because you as the teacher get to see how much your students understand the concept being taught.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Welcome to 2010!

Describe yourself as a tech user. How do you use technology in your daily life? What technologies do you use?