SMARTBoards in Classrooms

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The SMARTBoard is an interactive whiteboard, combine with functionality of a whiteboard, computer, and projector in a single system which uses touch and detection for user input in the same way as a normal computer device. (Shaw, Giles, Hibberts, 2013 p. 85) For example, the user can scroll up and down by using their hand and moving to the desire direction. SMARTBoards have expanded into our classrooms nationwide. If you can work a computer than you can work a SMARTBoard. Teachers can use them in their classrooms for any academic subject. SMARTBoards are effective for a small group instruction, active discussion, and questioning. (Shaw, Giles, Hibberts, 2013 p. 87) Interactive whiteboards make it easier for a teacher to save or revise their lecture. They can allow easy access to the internet and integrate a classroom with digital resources like multimedia. At Saint Mary School, teachers use their SMARTBoards to complete easy tasks, like attendance, according to the YouTube video.

SMARTBoards are beneficial for teachers and students. Teachers can use a SMARTBoard to add some interactive learning in the classroom. Most children are excited to use technology and with a SMARTBoard it allows that. It can help a teacher with time management in a classroom such as, not having to change out all new material when starting a new subject. It can also help teachers to enhance their lesson plans with different learning styles. The teacher could have a “hands on” lesson just by using easy activities with having an interactive whiteboard. A research concluded that interactive whiteboards can make enhance a child’s communication and thinking by using tool and environment that assist a child’s knowledge building. (Shaw, Giles, Hibberts, 2013 p. 86) We want our students to have fun learning and a SMARTBoard can be used in a positive reinforcement.

“Critics claim that in too many classrooms, interactive whiteboards are nothing more than fancy, expensive chalkboards, especially when their interactive features are ignored by teachers who do not know how or refuse to use them.” (Shaw, Giles, Hibberts, 2013 p. 86p) If we have teachers who are in a classroom setting and do not know how to use the SMARTBoard then it is not going to be effective teaching and not encourage students to listen. There can be more problems with SMARTBoard rather than a traditional white board. Sometimes technology has problems with functioning properly. The interactive board may take a long time to load, someone can unplug it, or something can break. If it quits working then it could cause the teacher to fall behind with their teachings. This can be avoidable in some cases, but it happens. According to Bill Ferriter, “Schools and districks run out and spend thousands of dollars on these gizmos, hanging them on walls and showing them off like proud hens that just laid the golden instructional egg. (www.edweek.org)

As a current student and a growing teacher, I think SMARTBoards is something we should have access to for learning. It can be an easy motivator for students and help a teacher with their lesson. I know I will use my SMARTBoard throughout the year and try to create fun activities. I think if we expect our students to know how to use technology than we should know how to use a SMARTBoard. I support having them in our classroom, but I also think we need a traditional whiteboard as well. This way we can ensure a back-up plan if the SMARTBoard has problems. My concern is that teachers who do not know how to use a SMARTBoard and that is the main resource in the classroom then how will the teacher be an efficient teacher throughout the day. We already know the students can learn by having a SMARTBoard in the classroom, I think it is something teachers should have in their classroom.

References

  1. Shaw Jr., E. L., Giles, R. M., & Hibberts, M. (2013). Does Technology Make a Difference? Investigating the Impact of Instructional Method on Second Graders’ Knowledge Acquisition and Retention of Rock Types. Global Education Journal, 2013(1), 83-92.
  2.  Ferriter, B. (n.d.). Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards – Education Week. Retrieved October 24, 2015, from http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2010/01/27/tln_ferriter_whiteboards.htm
  3.  SmartBoard in Grade 3 at St. Mary School. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkBz6achxGU
  4. Picture: google.com
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