SMARTboards Professional Development

What is a SMARTboard?
SMARTboards are an interactive whiteboard.  You can control them from a computer like a projector, or from touch of a finger or SMARTboard pen like a touch screen computer.  SMARTboards generally look like this:
Getting Started
1.) Orienting the board:
Before you get started, it is important to orient the board.  This means that the board will recognize your touch or the touch of a pen/eraser in the correct spot.  This Youtube tutorial will show you how to orient the board on a PC

2.) Moving between the notebook and computer:
It is easy to move between the SMARTboard notebook feature and projecting your computer screen onto the board.  This is done by selecting the Menu button on the board and then selecting the program you want to move to.  Your options will be Home, Whiteboard, Collaborate, Computer Access and Watch Video.

SMARTboard Notebook
SMARTboards are a brilliant tool for the classroom when used in clever ways.  The key is creativity, rather than assuming that the SMARTboard is just a computerized whiteboard.  They can be used to project items from an attached computer but they can also work as stand alone whiteboards where you can save your classes’ notes for the day and access them at a later time, perhaps during a review session.  This tutorial shows you how to open and save a Notebook document:

The SMARTboard has many capabilities of games.  For our mini-PD, we played Jeopardy.  Games are a perfect way to get students involved and engaged with material. 

You can either download a Jeopardy template like the one below or use a website-based creator like we did:
Other cool features
1.) Spotlight
Spotlight allows an instructor to show and cover up material on the SMARTboard as needed.  

2.) Response system shows clickers

These response clickers can be used to assess prior knowledge (APK) or at the end of a day to assess knowledge retained.  Varieties of clickers can be found here:
A tutorial for administering a clicker quiz is shown below. 
Like many technologies the SMARTboard has its limitations.  For example when two or more students are participating in an interactive SMARTboard activity, only one student can actively write on the board at a time.  This can be frustrating for both students and teachers if the goal of the activity is for multiple students to be participating in the SMARTboard activity at the same time.  Other’s include having to reorient the board in the middle of a lesson, it could be mistaken for a dry erase board, so be cognisant that both teachers and students do not use dry erase markers on the the on the SMART board screen.  Finally, technology is not always reliable so make sure that you have a backup lesson plan in case the technology you depend on is not being as user friendly as it could be. 

SMARTboards and Inquiry
Inquiry is a major part of science education.  So how can you use the SMARTboard as an inquiry based tool?  One cool way is to let students explore different units of science through virtual tours.  Check out a few websites that give students hands-on tools to observe, explore and inquire before they are ever introduced to the lesson in an educational setting.  Let your students choose a topic they wish to further explore based on the experience they get from taking a virtual tour through a science museum, the rain forest or space!
Better yet let them dissect an eye…
Visualize science models in 3D…

How YOU can use SMARTboards at Camp (or before, APK!)
1.) Games
2.) Interactive Concept Maps– this is just like a googledoc, your students can share and edit together, even when they are not together!
3.) Google Earth- look at the area before visiting to make big picture observations
4.) Draw/ Sketch ideas for water sampling tools

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2 thoughts on “SMARTboards Professional Development

  1. If I’m honest with you, the best way to find the full capabilities of your SMART board is to experiment with it! Its the most fun way to find out what your board can do and may inspire you with lessons and new ways to use this technology! It does help having blogs that tell you some of the basics, but its better to go one further by investing the time to discover things for yourself.

  2. Pingback: Teacher Katelyn S » Technology Philosophy

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