A Revolution in Education
Hi, this will be my third year with a SMARTBoard in my classroom. I could never go back to teaching without my SMARTBoard. During the past two years, I have learning the technical skills - last summer I became a SCT in Notebook and Response. Now that I am past the point of learning the technical aspect of the software and becoming comfortable with it, I really want to focus on content creation and interactive lessons.
I will be honest - most of the (great) lessons that I have use during the past two years were created by other teachers. And I will also be honest, a lot of the time I was not using the SMARTBoard for its full purpose - i.e., it was being used as a glorified projector. I am sure I am not the first to admit that either. And, at the same time, I have not been the most organized teacher - looking for a file here or there instead of having my files for that day together and ready to execute. A lot of this is "learning on the job." Unfortunately (or fortunately) in my school, I am the "trailblazer" and leader when it comes to edtech, and being in a school that is a bit behind the times....well, hopefully you understand what I am getting at. I call myself a "21st century wannabe teacher in a 20th century school." I am the one who has the drive and is finding funds receive in PD in technology integration. To make a long story short, my administration wants me to find a "balance" between technology and my class, similar to the TCAP (Technology, Content, and Pedagogy) model of SMART and other sources. Anyway, of course I am the one pursuing courses to help me to do this. But the term "balance" is subjective as there is no black and white - it's all shades of gray. My supervisor (who is more traditional - and I report to her directly) does not want me using my SMARTBoard 100% of the time that I teach (I teach the class just three hours in the morning). I was shocked. My assistant principal (whom I hope to meet with tomorrow) has a background in edtech, and when he told me "balance", I didn't think it meant turning the SMARTBoard off, I just thought it meant integrating it properly. How do I decide when and when not to use it? According to content or skills I am teaching? How do I get my supervisor to see the value of using it so that she will embrace it? Are there white papers or research papers on using the SMARTBoard to teach with a multi-sensory approach? In the long run, I know I am right. The kids will be upset at the times when we don't use it, and I will receive more phone calls from parents who complain that their kids aren't called up to use it. Sorry for the whining and rambling on and on, it's just that I am trying so hard to be successful at this, and I don't want to be held back. Thanks.
Part of me feels that I will not be in this school much longer also....
Good questions. I see any technology (SMART Boards, Ipads, computers, calculators etc.) as tools to help with learning. I see the teacher as the expert in deciding what tool to use to teach the concepts. Sometimes, a tool might be used a lot and other times, the tool might not be used. Science experiments are best done hands-on and may not require a SMART Board unless you are using a SMART Board for instruction.
A SMART Board replaces a blackboard because you can write as well as keep a record of everything you write on the board. This is especially good because many SMART Board teachers post their lessons online for students to use as a reference or to watch because of missing class. SMART Boards can also make it easier to organize and show computer software and interactive websites to a class.
SMART Boards can also be great stations for students to practice or review concepts using an interactive website or a Notebook lesson. SMART has some pdfs files showing the benefits of a SMART Board that you can download and read at http://smarttech.com/whitepapers There are also some useful links at http://smartboardrevolution.ning.com/forum/topics/looking-for-journ...
I enjoyed reading your post and you are certainly on the right track. When I did a long term substitute for algebra in a middle school a year ago I used the SMART Board daily. I did not use it 100% of the time but it was on all the time and ready to be used. The students looked forward to the images and the reveal techniques and were more engaged in the lessons that were from the book. There were times when the board was the central point of the lesson and other times when it was used as a writing board or an explanation. But it was always available.
I really enjoyed being able to utilize the SMART Response with the board. That made the class a whole lot easier to manage and assess.
I use lots of images and visuals for engagement of the student. See my lessons at HarveysHomePage.com
There are lots of white papers on the SMART board. (http://smarttech.com/whitepapers
Best of luck with the upcoming school year