I have a SmartBoard in my room these days. When we were awash in grant money a few years ago, our site bought three. Two were mounted in classrooms, and we put the third one on wheels (just like the pic in the link) so it could be moved from room to room. The idea was that one would allow people to try out the idea and learn how to incorporate it into actual lessons. Then we might buy more. The reality was that when I got all the software dialed in and all the issues worked out so I could do tech support for the others (about a month), I passed it on to my then-BTSA mentee for his social studies classroom. I figured with all the maps and pics and suchlike, he might be able to use it more fully than I could in English. I mostly just doodled on it. He’s had it ever since.
A week or two ago, he asked me if I wanted it back. He said he hadn’t been using it that much, and he was going in the computer lab for a while, and then…etc. He wasn’t going to use it for the rest of the year. So my servant wheeled it over, and we’ve been doodling ever after.
Mostly it’s been a novelty item. I prefer writing on the virtual board with my wireless slate/pen. It has all the same toys as the SmartBoard software, and I don’t have to get out of my chair to write on the board. Plus there’s the added bonus feature that the slate takes quite a bit of practice to master, and so the kids can’t really use it. 😉
But lately I’ve been having them just go up and circle answers and such with the pretend pens. They still think it’s soooooo cool that, as long as you’re holding one of the pens in your hand, you can write on the SmartBoard with your finger. Whoa. I guess it does encourage more attention-paying and participation and the like, but I’d like to be using it a bit more fully.
When I was the lead teacher on the past tech grant we got, I did a couple of ShmartBoard trainings for our teachers. The math and social studies teachers were into the idea the most, so I found some groovy stuff for them, but I’ve haven’t really done all that much looking/figuring for language art ideas. I did do a couple of sentence scramble exercises, where the kids could physically manipulate pieces of sentences to form different variations. (Wait! We’re rolling with that on Tuesday. I hadn’t even thought about that until just now.) But I’m looking for more ideas for using the thing for more than just doodling and drawing moustaches on kids’ pics. (Oh, and whiting out parts of the school bulletin, so it reads something like this: “Lag id le c ool Daily Bull . Attention Stud s:” — The seventh grader with a badge strikes again.)
So if you have any groovy ideas or links for using this shmartyboard, gimme a holler.