external image smart-board-600i.JPGWhat is a Smart Board?

A Smart Board is actually a brand name of interactive white boards. Smart board is the interactive white board produced by Smart technologies, it was first introduced in 1991. Smart Boards dominate the market with regard to interactive white boards. An interactive white board (IWB) is a large interactive display that connects to a computer and projector. The computer desktop is projected on the white boards and can be navigated using either a pen or fingertips. The Smart Board has a pen tray much like a traditional chalkboard or white board. This tray has a number of different colored pens that allow the teacher to vary the font colors used on the board during a lesson. The pens do not contain ink nor are they electronic. An optical sensor in the tray recognizes the absence of the device and changes the writing color to that color of the absent writing device. Smart boards come with collaborative learning software known as Smart Notebook, but is also compatible with other software such as, Microsoft Power Point, or Macintosh Keynotes.

How do we use a Smart Board in the classroom?

A smart board as the collective of interactive whiteboards has come to be called has many classroom applications. The Smart technology software that come with a Smart Board has built in lesson planning software to assist teachers with preparing a lesson. They also include a recoding mechanism that allows the lesson to be recorded and then played back later for a student refresher. This help students who are absent from a lesson catch-up and not miss important steps that might help them connect to the lesson.

A smart board also help provide those visual learners with the ultimate experience. Students can actually see, touch and move abstract concepts. It helps the abstract become alive.

This device would be a great help to students with disabilities as it provides movement and interaction that a traditional whiteboard/chalkboard does not provide. An educator can begin a lesson and explain parts of a plant while simultaneously projecting a video that the student could then be labeling or circling with various colored pens.

Google Earth is a great example of how a teacher can help students truly visualize a geography lesson and assist the students in see the connection to all parts of the world. A connection that global maps seem to lack due to their lack of dimension.



Ethically speaking the major issues with a smart board, or interactive white board, are much like that of any technological teaching device. Teachers need to be careful that the technology does not become a gimmick but rather a tool to assist in the learning process.

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