For my 4th Genius Hour Post, I decided to interview one of my tutors who is a student teacher. She has been a student teacher for a year now at a nearby middle school. Here is her opinion on whether the use of SMARTboards hinder or help student learning from a teacher’s perspective:
“As an educator, I see SMARTboards as both a hindrance and a tool for student learning. When the technology works, it is fantastic for increasing student engagement and keeping students responsible for their learning, if you use the right methods. However, the technology is flawed and when it is not calibrated, it can be a nightmare. A perfectly planned lesson can go awry when SMARTboard technology malfunctions. The tools are too finicky for an educator to fully rely on SMARTboards for student learning, so the work for an educator (and a student) doubles.”
What I took from this interview was that SMARTboards can really be helpful to students in the classrooms when working. But at the same time, when they are not properly working, it can make teachers fall behind schedule on what they are supposed to be teaching that day. I completely agree with her because after doing further research, it seems like every teacher has this opinion on SMARTboards. But then again, every piece of technology is useful but when it malfunctions, everybody who uses the technology, will say that it’s a nightmare when not working.
For my 5th Genius Hour Post, I began to look more into teacher’s opinion. I came across this website (http://www.techlearning.com/news/0002/ten-ways-to-get-smart-with-smartboard/60108) that had Ms. Price pose the question, “What can I do with a SMARTboard?” to teachers. Ms. Price decided to present a workshop on SMARTboards at her district level Professional Development Academics and found that most teachers didn’t even know how to use an interactive whiteboard instructionally with their students. Ms. Price’s job is to help teachers learn about the technology in the classrooms and model lessons.
Later in the blog, Ms. Price listed 10 ways in which she has used the SMARTboard with students and teachers. One of the ways were Notetaking and Brainstorming. Giving the student’s time to brainstorm on a given topic allows students to record and share their ideas. I found out that with SMART notebook, users are able to extend the page and add more notes to the same page or even insert blank pages to jot down ideas and questions. The notes can even been converted into type-written text in which it allows the students to print notes to use as a study guide.
Another way Ms. Price has used SMARTboard with students and teachers is United Streaming. Some schools, depending on your school budget, can subscribe to United Streaming through your local broadcasting station. United Streaming is a part of the Discovery Channel and allows you to connect to the channel with ease and no problem with connection. At United Streaming, students can view and download educational movies, images, lesson plan and teaching tools for teachers that relate to any topic. Overall, I still think that my research is supporting my idea that SMARTboards do help students learn better.