I was in secondary 4 when I saw the first SMART board in one of my classes. I can remember that the teacher was not eased nor pleased to teach with this new tool. Few years went by since my secondary 4, but the popularity of SMART Boards is growing in schools and most of them are now equipped with those interactive boards. The SMART company assures that its products are innovative and evolving meaning that the products you use today will adapt and still be up-to-date in a few years.
The main advantage of the SMART board lie in the fact that they can do almost everything with the tip of your fingers. SMART boards are connected to computers, but the board itself acts as a computer too. From the big screen you can surf the web, watch videos, modify documents, and save them. It is also possible to share your presentation on other computers !
Beginners can write, erase, and draw on it. There are also applications and games that can be added to the SMART board software to make the teaching even more interesting and interactive. SMART boards are also useful because they replace television and projectors. Be sure to practice a little before using the SMART board for a presentation in class, so that you are familiar with all the features of the tool. I’m telling this from personal experience because the first time I worked with a SMART board during my practicum I almost panicked; I did not know how to scroll down the page !!
Now that I have worked with the SMART board a couple of time, I enjoy more this tool. I think it is fun to work with. Students can come in front of the class, write stuff, and participate in games. It makes the classroom a more interesting place for them to be when they know they can participate more actively. It can also be use to note down ideas from brainstorming sessions. Students then get a visual support for their own ideas.
Amber Price, an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, suggest 10 ways to use the SMART board in a classroom. The last thing she suggests is to use the SMART board for PowerPoint presentation, but PowerPoint is only one of the thousand presentation tools available for teachers. (See my articles about Prezi, and ThingLink). It is certainly, the main reason why I will use the SMART board in my future classes. In this regard, you may want to download the SMART Notebook on your computer; it is a software to create SMART board presentation. The Notebook is essential when working with a SMART board, because it is this software that gives you access to the magic pens, and highlighters and stuff.
Now, Let you imagination go and find all possible ways to adapt the use of the SMART board to your style of teaching.