Nowadays, children are surrounded by technology no matter where they are. They have HD T.Vs at home, laptops, IPods, IPhones, and probably a lot more. They now have access to information everywhere they go. Consequently, why not interest them in a classroom with a technology tool they do not get to work with anywhere else? Something that will interest them and make them want to learn and participate; the SmartBoard!
When I first witnessed what a SmartBoard can do, I was absolutely blown away. I was impressed to see how far classroom technology had gone. I knew from that moment that I would absolutely love using this tool in a classroom and make good use of it so it’s useful for the students.
“When students first come into class, and they’re exposed to a SmartBoard, their initial reaction is excitement because it’s technology and kids today are very technology oriented” (http://smarttech.com/Home%20Page/Solutions/Education%20Solutions/English%20Language%20Acquisition)
I believe this citation I took from the video on SmartTech’s website says it all. Students will be willing to learn with technology because they are having fun while learning and it makes them want to participate. It is much more interactive than simply doing a worksheet individually and the same content can be learnt. I believe that this is the future of teaching and a very useful tool for teachers even though it does not mean that absolutely everything has to be done on a SmartBoard. However, the most important competency evaluated in schools is oral interaction and I believe this is a good way to make the students interact orally with others and also with the teacher.
Furthermore, having a SmartBoard in a classroom is a good way to use the same tools students are using at home such as YouTube and therefore catch their attention to teach the content. It is also good for every kind of intelligences considering it involves visual, tactile and auditory learning for the students. (http://www.ehow.com/about_5078772_reasons-schools-use-smart-boards.html) It is possible to reach more students’ attention than by, for example, simply talking in front of the class, in which case, visual students would have trouble following.
Obviously, if the teacher does not know how to use it properly or has not prepared his or her material before class, the SmartBoard becomes useless and a waste of time. The teacher needs to know exactly what he want to teach and how he or she wants to do it before to just use the SmartBoard because it’s cool and students love it. Organisation is extremely important before using any tool in a classroom environment. Once this is done, there are lots of ways to use the SmartBoard. He are a few ways suggested by Concordia University in Portland, Oregon (http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/educator-tips/teacher-s-guide-how-to-use-a-smartboard-in-the-classroom/). It keeps the class interactive and maximize the participation of the students in a the classroom; everyone wants to go in front and play with the SmartBoard. Plus, it is way more colourful than a simple black board and white chalks, which catches the students’ attention. All these little tricks are simple but useful when it comes to teaching and keeping the class focus. I believe it is really efficient.
However, as a student who was raised with technology, it is more simple for me to learn how to use a SmartBoard than for example a teacher who has used a black board for 20 years before. Yet, this shouldn’t be a problem because YouTube offers a variety of very good videos to show teachers how to use a SmartBoard. Here’s a link of a good channel with multiple tutorials starting from the very beginning to help teachers become familiar with the tool.
Finally, I believe that using a SmartBoard is very helpful in a classroom as long as the teacher uses it properly. I think it is worth every penny and should be included in every class and for every subject.