How to Integrate a SMARTboard into Your Teaching
This year our 3rd and 4th grade teachers are piloting SMARTboards, an interactive, electronic whiteboard. The company’s website has a wealth of resources for educators (http://education.smarttech.com/ste/en-US/Ed+Resource/). I recently attended a SMARTboard training session at my school, and a world of new possibilities unfolded. It has transformed my classroom!
SMARTboard comes with software called Notebook, which allows you to create, save, or print any lesson idea you might have. There are hundreds of graphic resources in the Gallery that comes with the Notebook software, including a whole folder of math tools and paper backgrounds such as graph paper. SMARTboard is compatible with all of the Microsoft Office programs, so it’s easy to create something in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, and access it through the SMARTboard software so students can interact with it.
I now use the SMARTboard instead of my whiteboard for many reasons. The SMARTboard is just like a whiteboard, only I can save every file, which is kind of like having digital charts. There are many interactive opportunities for students with the SMARTboard, so it’s a great motivator. My kids are engaged during lessons both visually and kinesthetically. Students love coming up to it to share information and ideas using the SMARTboard, which helps develop their public speaking skills.
I love how easy it is to create materials with my students, and go back later to add or make changes as our learning progresses. It is easy to add sound and video to create multimedia projects. Since the SMARTboard is hooked up to my computer and a projector, we use the SMARTboard to view and interact with websites all the time. There are tons of websites that list other great websites that work well with the SMARTboard, so I didn’t have to start from scratch.
Some ways that I use SMARTboard in my classroom:
- With my morning message. After students read my morning message, I often include a “ps” that invites them to come up and respond to a question or graph.
- To watching BrainPOP movies and playing the quizzes.
- To go over math problems.
- To create charts.
- To look at maps or photographs.
- To view interactive websites.
- To prepare for tests (way more exciting on a SMARTboard!).
- As a math tool (for example, elapsed time, protractor, graph paper).
- With Inspiration software (for class brainstorms, spelling word sorts, etc.).
Since the SMARTboard is new to our class, I am learning along with my students every day. There are so many resources that I am never at a loss for activities or ideas. See the resources below to get a feel for what’s out there.
If you are not familiar with SMARTboards and don’t have access to one at your school, I highly recommend visiting a school that does have them. I guarantee you will leave inspired to find a way to get funding to purchase them for your school!
K-3 SMARTboard Sites:
Classroom Resources for SMARTboard Technology:
Case Studies (schools that are already using SMARTboards):
Teachers’ Ideas for Using SMARTboards:
Interactive Whiteboard Resources for K - 5:
Do you have a question or comment about this article? E-mail Allisyn.