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.