Happy 2015, teachers! You’ve survived the freneticism of the holiday season, and now, the New Year is officially here! I have always felt that this part of the school year is the most challenging, as there are fewer distractions due to holidays and breaks, and it seems to last much longer than the first part of the school year. This is the perfect time to learn about a tool that many of you already have in your classroom but are only casually acquainted with—the Smart Board.
The Smart Board is the high-tech version of the old-fashioned white board. It looks like a normal white board, but this one is powered by your computer; this is technology at its finest in the classroom. I was using the Smart Board to help teach English grammar and medical transcription more than ten years ago, and even then, I could recognize its incredible capabilities in making learning an interactive and fun process.
By doing a simple Google search, I found some websites that help illustrate the Smart Board’s potential in the classroom.
• Using Smart Boards in the Classroom--This site provides a good overview of the capabilities and possibilities of using a Smart Board in the classroom. It also allows you to subscribe to their newsletter to get free updates on tools and ideas for the teacher.
• Smart Boards for Dummies--It seems that the older we become, the more hesitant we are about learning new technology. Thankfully, the people who have put together the “Dummies” series on practically everything you want to know, have done one for the Smart Board, part of which is posted online and takes you through step by step
• Smart Board Training--This site emphasizes how training is absolutely essential in learning to make the most of your Smart Board.
• If you want visual training, go to YouTube and input “Smart Boards” into the search bar. You will find numerous useful topics that will help you to become more proficient in using this tool.
Make this one of your New Year’s resolutions, to learn some new tricks on using the Smart Board. Don’t be timid--find out how it can make learning fun and interactive in your classroom. You can “read” a book together, perform fun language or math exercises, and play other interactive games on it. You can even save some of these in video format which allows you to post the link on your classroom website for your students to access from home.
Our young students are often more savvy than we are when it comes to technology, so let’s step up and show them how fun learning can be by using techniques they can relate to.