Changing My Thinking About Interactive Whiteboards

Let me preface this by saying that I am a SMART exemplary educator and have been training teachers for about as long as I have been teaching. When I started, I trained very much according to the “SMART” formula. I taught Board Basics, content creation and every level from beginning to advanced. Somewhere along the lines, technology changed. Mobile devices have become more prevalent in our classrooms. Teaching methodologies with and without devices have changed. Somewhere in the last two years, I changed…in a big way.

I just trained a group of teachers in my school district who have smart boards. As I finished showing them board basics, we talked about instructional design. I know for a fact that they all have ipads, Google Apps and we have a BYOT policy as well. Taking that into account, I made sure to teach them how they could use their board as one of their classroom tools and not THE tool. I’ll admit that I didn’t even show them extreme collaboration. I highlighted Google docs because in essence, students could add their input to the lesson from their device collaboratively and then it can be shared with the entire class through google drive…no conversion or QR needed.

Basically, I taught them how they could NOT stand at the board and teach yet use its touch capabilities for other purposes when needed like having students model how they solve problems in math.

I did not show them how to create a lesson in Notebook software per se, but I did share many of its capabilities that would come in handy as the class collaborated and created more.

I don’t pretend to have all of the answers as I am ever-evolving but I do know that the days of the board being the central place of knowledge are all but dissolving…slowly yet surely. It really is about making learning as student centered as possible where every student is engaged in ways that were previously unimaginable. We have to consider how we do that with fidelity.

Looking Ahead

On 9/23 SMART is making some big announcement about the cloud and mobile devices. You can click here and sign up for the announcement on their site. I truly encourage you to do so. I’ll be listening and can’t wait to write in response.

Comments 2

  1. Totally agree. After the first couple weeks of school I only use my SMART board for morning announcements. Used to rig up “smart” boards with a projector and Wii mote, thinking it was the best possible tool. But my kids all have screens in their pockets now. Why not use ’em?

    1. Post

      Agree! I believe that there is room for all of these screens in some capacity. We just need to make sure that we aren’t preparing kids for a life of learning that no longer applies.

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