"SMART" Boards

Discussion in 'General Education' started by John Lee, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    ...are such a waste of money.

    A large number of teachers don't even use it. They're already treading to the point of obsolescence... Certainly in a few years, they will be. As said, the majority of teachers use it in a cursory way at best... and most of those don't even use it. Don't wanna use it. (And I'm one of them BTW.) SMART Boards are still quite clunky in their operation & implementation (i.e. not like a doc reader). They tend to be mounted over top of existing white boards (something that could be used for teaching, now can't)...

    And before you say that yours were "free" (as in a donation), don't get it twisted. Nothing in this world is free... especially "gifts" from corporations. It just seems to me that by the time you get people in the classroom who might tend to take advantage of something in a classroom, they'll be obsolete.
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish I had a SMART Board like every other teacher in our school. Almost all of my lessons could be enhanced by using video clips, interactive websites, games, interactive activities, etc... If you don't want yours then please send it my way!
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I use my Smart Board at least a half dozen times a day...plus my doc cam a few times a week. Could I survive without it? Yes...but it does engage digital learners in ways that traditional whiteboards/chalkboards just don't.

    It could be, John Lee, that you don't perceive the true applIcation and benefits of SB use as a sub...I don't leave my subs lessons using the SB as they don't have a log in for my laptop. Nor would most Subs know how to use the SB...and while my students do know how to use it in many ways, its just not something I'm leaving for a substitute.
    In addition, some schools purchased the technology, but dont invest in the PD for staff members to become proficient in its use. That could cause teachers to be apprehensive of trying out this new educational technology.
     
  5. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I absolutely love my SB. It has enriched my lessons tenfold and the kids are actually enjoying things they used to hate. Math, for example, is way more interactive now and they pay attention. They aren't falling asleep listening to me ramble on for 45 minutes before being handed a worksheet.

    Depending on your SB by the way, some can be used as a white board. Mine, before it was completely functional, was used a white board. I wrote all over it and it wipes right off. The newer ones are intended as such so maybe you should find out if you can use dry erase markers on yours.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    What experience are you basing your generalizations on? I'm not sure what you teach, but I'm assuming it's something that gives you access to many teachers' rooms throughout a day. I only ask because it sounds like some pretty sweeping generalizations there.

    I use my board all day, every day. In many different ways. The only tune it is off is if the kids are out of the room.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I've had a SmartBoard for 5-6 years. I use it every day, all day long. I hate my document camera. I would get rid of it in a heartbeat.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think there's a huge difference between saying the technology is a waste and saying that it shouldn't replace good teaching.

    I don't have a smartboard, I don't want a smartboard.

    That's not to say it's a waste, merely that it doesn't suit my style of teaching.

    If my school were to install smartboards, it could be done two ways:
    1. Install it, teach us to use it, and let people use it as they saw fit. In my mind, this is how it would happen in my school, and it would make a lot of sense.

    2. Install it, and demand that every lesson involve and revolve around the new technology. I appreciate that this is how it's handled in some schools, and I agree that it doesn't make sense. The technology should improve the teaching; the teaching shouldn't be all about making use of the technology.

    I think schools should be bragging about how their amazing teachers are making use of so many technologies and strategies to provide optimum learning, not about how their classrooms are full of amazing technology. It's not the technology I have an issue with; it's the perception that the technology is ALL there is to good teaching. It's a tool, with no inherent value. It's as good as the teacher using it.
     
  9. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Posters are welcome to express their opinions and views on topices that are presented. They are NOT welcome to use petty digs on others. Play nice, please!
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We just got them on Monday and haven't been trained on all the facets of them (I know there are many more things to do with it), but it has already changed the way I teach my whole group reading block. Instead of holding up a little book or little pictures for the kids to see-I am projecting those things like a big tv screen from my computer. My preparation instead of printing out pages of our vocab words, etc. is just putting them in a powerpoint to project.

    20% of 2-year olds in this country have tvs in their bedrooms-it is how this generation of kids learned to learn-by watching tv or playing video games. So I think one good thing is it taps into that and makes learning more interesting for them.

    Sure there are teachers who aren't going to use it, but there are always teachers who don't like to change how they do things. I don't think that makes the technology as a whole worthless.
     
  11. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I have a SmartBoard. I use it. Not to it's full potential, but I use it.

    My problem is two-fold:

    a) I've never been given PD to learn how to use it properly. Every now and then I'll stumble on something new, but it usually takes me twice as long to use it, cause I don't know how.

    b) My SmartBoard was mounted over my whiteboard. Therefore, I HAVE to use it if I want to write ANYTHING down for the kids to see.

    Could I get along just fine without my SmartBoard? Sure. There are even days when I long to have my overhead projector back (the kids think it's hilarious). I think it's great technology. I just don't know how to use it to it's full potential.
     
  12. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I use my smartboard everyday. I've only had it for a couple of months and the students and I have enjoyed the board. I haven't been trained on it the way I would like to be. I am across the hall from a young math teacher and she has the same planning period as I do. She has helped me a lot. Ima, you're only a few states away...can I drop by and pick up your doc camera:D
     
  13. SandyCastles

    SandyCastles Companion

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    I just had a smartboard installed in my classrooms this week. I can't use it yet because I have no computer or internet connection in my rooms. We haven't been trained on them and I don't expect it soon, or even this year with the rate things go here. But I would love to be able to use it. It would be an amazing tool to use with ESL students.
     
  14. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    I also use my SMARTboard daily. When our school got the boards, the teachers had to attend training all through the year on using them properly in the classroom. It was a two year program and about 18 hours of training. For training after school, teachers were paid a stipend.
     
  15. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I have had a smartboard for three years now. I love it!!!!! i could teach without but why would I want to when there are sooooo many advantages to using.

    Just want to say one thing. To all those who say you haven't been trained on how to use it. I have been to many trainings on how to use the smartboard. Yes they all taught me how to make my own activities. Yes I know pretty much how to use all the "buttons" on my smartboard. BUT the easiest thing to do is to go to smartexchange, find an all ready made activity and use that. There hundreds of thousands of them all ready made. Why try to reinvent the wheel.
     
  16. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    We have a lot of technology in my school. I agree technology does not make for good teaching. However, I have a lot of teachers who are hesitant to using any technology because they do not trust it--that's such a shame.
     
  17. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I'm closer to Ima--I claim her document camera!
     
  18. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    I would LOVE to use a Smart Board, and I actually have one! However, there are a few problems with this. We've never been trained on how to use the Smart Board. Our classrooms are not equipped with mounted projectors so we need to use a movable projector attached to a laptop. Finally, because we never recieved a longer cable, it is a huge headache to set up and take down - and I move from room to room so I can't leave it in one place.

    I could make science soooo incredibly awesome if I could somehow make it work!! :)
     
  19. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I got my interactive whiteboard last year. I use it almost every day. Sometimes it is only for something that I could do otherwise, but that is easier with the board. For example, the other day we were working on punctuating dialogue. I had the students give me examples of sentences from their writing. I typed them into Word, they showed up on the board, and students came up and corrected them. We were able to do many more examples because it took a lot less time than writing each one out!

    And, as someone else mentioned, it's amazing how much more attention they pay when we're doing something like that, or underlining verbs in sentences, etc. with the board than if we were doing it on the overhead.

    Why do you say they will soon be obsolete?
     
  20. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    I'm not a huge fan of Smartboards, but like others have said, I haven't been properly trained to use one to its full potential, so all I can do is write on it!

    I usually use the small bit of whiteboard on either side of the Smartboard when I need to write something on the board rather than turning the thing on and writing with that.
     
  21. MsDeb

    MsDeb Comrade

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    I've been using a SMARTboard for 4 years now and still love it. The students never get tired of a chance to come up "play" on the board. They move manipulatives around for math, sort spelling words with their fingers, watch video clips and play interactive online learning games.

    Just today, students were demonstrating division by moving images of "angry birds" into cages to show equal groups and we watched a very cool NASA video about sunspots to enrich our study of the sun. I have a an amazing array of images and activities available to me at the click of my mouse!

    I can teach without one but it definitely enriches and enhances my instruction!
     
  22. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I have always had a smartboard, and a document camera (4 years). This past summer, I taught summer school in a classroom that didn't have a smartboard, and I was a bit lost.

    Smartboards are an absolutely amazing teaching tool. There are endless resources and already-made plans out there. Not to mention, they are very motivating. Students are incredibly eager to do anything up at the smartboard.

    I know they don't fit everyone's teaching style, but I certainly wouldn't say they are a waste of money.
     
  23. Math

    Math Cohort

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    In my school all Math Teachers have a smart board, however only some History teachers have one. Science and English do not. Everyone I see that has one actually uses it.
     
  24. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    My SmartBoard will be installed within the next few weeks. It is a gift from a parent and I will be the only teacher at our school who has one.

    I am beyond excited about having this new tool. Will I use it for every lesson? Probably not, since technology is not always the best way to present information. I've enrolled in training and have ordered several books about creating lessons. I feel like I will be able to make good use of it.
     
  25. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I agree with the OP. I heard we're all getting smartboards at my school this year or next. Yippeee @@. I wish I could refuse one. It will just take up valuable white board space.

    The ONLY benefit to me having one is that since it will be flush on my whiteboard I can have my projector closer to my table. But, I could just use my whiteboard instead of my projection screen if that was really important to me.

    I used them several years ago in an elementary school. They prevented me from doing what I wanted to in the classroom.

    I dread the day we get them.
     
  26. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I will gladly do so if I have the option. I can do all of those things and more while using my LCD projector and computer.
     
  27. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I don't even have a projector :( Everything I do has to go up on a chalkboard or an overhead projector. If the computer labs are open then I can take the kids over there and have them pull things up on their computers but still no way to show videos and such. I have the seniors this year and they always give a senior gift to the school upon graduation and I told them this year's should be a SMARTboard for me :lol:
     
  28. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    ahhh, well, a smart board would make a difference in your case!
     
  29. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Yes, it would! It would make so many lessons so much easier and more interactive and fun for the kids. Sometimes I'll have them watch a short clip on their own but it's always optional because not all of them have access to a computer and some of the videos they can't get on on their own at school because of the blocks. I'd love to do some stuff with poetry and am trying to get one of my friends/teachers to switch classrooms with me one day when his kids are just taking a test.
     
  30. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    I love my smartboard!! I do wish though that I had more training because I know I am not utilizing all the amazing features that I could.
     
  31. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    I love my SMART board. I have it on all day every day. I make my own lessons, I use the clickers, I use lessons other teachers have made, and the kids love it. I don't think schools should install them in all classrooms unless they do training and know the teachers will use them. Teachers should be given a choice. At my school there are teachers that don't use them because they are not comfortable with them. Those teachers are bitter that they had to lose whiteboard space to the SMART boards. I understand that. They may have done better if given the chance to purchase something different for their room. The PTA bought them so they said all teachers had to have them so none of the kids would be at a disadvantage.

    Yes, they will become obsolete but so did VCRs, tape decks, chalk boards (most of them anyway), and computers after a couple of years (we need new ones every so often). Who knows what the future will hold?

    New technology, in and of itself, is not the solution to making better teachers. Using the tools available in such a way as to engage students and helping them to learn is.
     
  32. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I'd love a Smart board! i think I might be getting one soon, the principal told me that one teacher hardly uses it, and she would give it to me :) she sees that I use technology as much as I can, and she wants to support it.

    I agree, however, that teachers should be given a choice. But I also think they should all go to at least a 1 day training, so they get to see what it's capable of, try it out, etc. And then they can make en educated decision whether or not they want it. Some teachers don't like technology and a lot of people don't like changes. But sometimes we say no to something without having all the facts. If the teachers are trained in how to use them, and see how it can be beneficial to the students, they might actually say yes.
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My school wrote a grant a few years ago for SBs. Along with the grant, the PTO provided funds and we got them installed in all classrooms. We have been trained and our regional center offers ongoing workshops for additional training. In my district, we also do a lot of turn key training so we're all on board. I don't know anyone in my building who doesn't use and like these.
    The kids are definitely engaged and involved with SB lessons...they are truly 'digital learners'.

    As far a the choice issue...I changed grade levels and classrooms last year. I would have lost the opportunity to utilize all the SB lessons I had created and gathered if there were not SBs in each classroom or if the prior teacher had been given the choice to not have one. Also, in a district that makes the investment in technology, why should some students benefit and others not?
     
  34. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    I agree that if teachers change classrooms it can cause issues. But students in a class where the SB is just sitting there and not being used are not benefitting anyway. If that teacher had chosen something s/he would use comfortably, the students would benefit.

    I am not sure why I am arguing this. I am the one who brought SB's to my school. I use technology in my class a lot. I guess it is because I am a little sensitive about it. I had the first SB in my school (from a grant). Within a year the PTA decided the rest of the school should have them too. Most of the teachers use theirs occasionally, Some frequently and some never. They are irritated that they had to have training and still don't want to use them. I feel a little responsible.
     
  35. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Why do they have to take up board space?

    Some of our teachers chose to have them put over their boards, but most of us had them put elsewhere. I still have my two large whiteboards available.
     
  36. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Me too...in my current and previous classroom, the SBs are mounted on the wall, leaving the whiteboards/blackboards free.
     
  37. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    The white boards are in the front of the classroom. The people came in over the break and installed the SBs right on top of the whiteboards. There is some space on either side of the SB, maybe 2 1/2 feet of whiteboard. We had no say in the placement. Several of us have asked them to move the whiteboards but they say it is too expensive.
     
  38. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Over our whiteboards was the only option available. We had one of two options: cover the smaller board or the larger board.

    We chose the lesser of two "evils" which was the smaller board.
     
  39. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    In some classrooms I've seen the SB that can be moved, it rolls around. It's great, because you can move it out of the way of the white board, but then the projector has to be on a cart. I like the projector mounted on the ceiling, this way it's out of the way.

    I was saying maybe teachers could have a choice, because if they're not gonna use it, might as well get other things, like extra microscopes, scientific calculators, whatever. but changing classrooms can be a problem, so it's hard to know what's best.
     
  40. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Our smartboards had to be installed in the front of the classroom, where dry-erase boards and chalkboards already existed. They told us that the smartboards are only temporary, but the chalkboards and whiteboards were permanent, which is why they wouldn't take them down/move them to install a smartboard.
     
  41. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Our "white boards" were the shower boards. They bought us Mimio's and real white boards. I LOVE my Mimio and love that when I don't use it, I still have a real white board to use.
     

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