Genius Hour Post 6

During the course of this project, I have learned many things pertaining to my question of, “Does the use of SMARTBoard technology lead to smarter students.” After doing interviews and research, I came to the conclusion that SMARTBoards are useful but when broken, it could be a major disaster. As said by a teacher I interviewed, “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.”

After I interviewed my tutor, I completely understood where she was coming from. In high school, and even in college at times, the use of a SMARTBoard would slow down the lesson plan due to it not working or the professor/teacher misusing it. While it can be a pain for teachers and students, when it works, the technology is great and useful. Especially for younger kids who want to get hands on with technology. They can draw on the board to explain an answer forcing students to be more involved and hands on.

I would present this information in a PowerPoint while also providing screenshots of my blog. The hardest thing about presenting this information to a class I think would be deciding is I for it or against it. My research has led me to be neutral since it could be a good thing but when broken, it is useless. Other than that, I believe my research can back up all of my stances on these questions. I enjoyed this project because it taught me how to view learning not just from a students perspective but also from a teachers perspective.

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Genius Hour Post 4 and 5

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.

 

3rd Genius Hour

I’ve decided to narrow down my research to the use of SMART boards in the classroom. By doing this, it changes my main question to, “Does the use of SMART Boards in the classroom lead to smarter students?” The reason why I decided to narrow down my research was because my previous question was just too broad and there were so many topics I could have hit so I settled on one. After finally choosing a path to go down for this project, I then researched, “the use of SMART boards in the classroom.”

Much to my surprise, I was able to find a plethora of resources to use. For an example, I found a website (http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/tech-ed/five-ways-that-smart-boards-are-a-smart-choice-in-the-classroom/) that was dedicated to establishing five ways to use SMART Boards in the classroom. This website was helpful to my research because the website is for online degree programs offered from Concordia University in Nebraska, Oregon and New York. It gave me a look into the use of SMART Boards in a college settings. Another website I found useful was (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/video/do-smart-boards-make-for-smart-students/5743/) entitled, “Do SMART Boards make for smart students?” I found this website extremely helpful because it came from PBS (reliable resource) and it also discussed how costly it could be for schools to invest in a SMART Board.

Another website I found helpful was an article posted by ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4278772&page=1) on how, “SmartBoard Changes Classrom(s).” This source was very reliable and accredited given that it came from ABC News. This article describes the benefits of the use of SMART Boards in the classrooms such as helping to develop visual learners. The other 2 resources I found were helpful as well. Since I was looking into the advantages of the use of SMART Boards in the classrooms, I decided to take a look at the disadvantages of the use of them in the classrooms. Check out these websites: https://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/we-dont-need-smart-boards-we-need-smart-people-jerry-brodkey/ & http://www.brighthubeducation.com/teaching-elementary-school/68395-using-smartboards-when-students-have-visual-needs-or-impairments/

2nd Genius Hour Post

After viewing some of my peers opinions on if technology improves learning, I can say we all have the same opinion concerning technology if it doesn’t work. By doesn’t work, I mean what if the wireless in class in down? Then the teacher will have to find an alternative activity to do that may not involve the use of technology. Another point that one of my peers mentioned about the problems concerning the use of technology in class was students getting distracted easily. Especially if you are dealing with laptops. Students are able to open different tabs during an activity and may not give their full attention to the instructor.

Besides the negative side concerning the use of technology in classrooms, my peers also provided some of the same viewpoints as me pertaining to the positive side of technology use in the classroom. They made certain points on how technology has helped student’s creativity levels grow more. They allow students to be more hands on interactive. Technology can also conform to the way certain students learn.

Twitter has been quite helpful. I’ve been able to follow pages like GA Dept for Education. I was able to see how Georgia Department for Education is using technology outside the classroom to get parents involved in their children’s education. Parents can now sign up to receive tips, facts and resources for their 4 & 5 year-olds for Pre-K & Kindergarten. I also followed GA Virtual Learning. Georgia Virtual Learning is a virtual public school that offers school classes that are accredited by the NCAA.

 

Does The Use of Technology in The Classroom Help Students Become Better Learning?

The reason why I chose the question of, “Does the use of technology in the classroom help students become better learning?” as my question to investigate is because it interest me. I think it will be interesting to see if technology can really help students learn better. Now a days in classrooms, we all use some type of technology in teaching and learning. Whether it’s the teacher using technology such as a smartboard or a student using their iPhone, tablet, or laptop to learn in the classroom.

This question is very relevant in my life because I tend to take better notes in class using my laptop. Yes I have heard that writing down notes help you learn better but with a laptop, I have the internet at my fingertips. I can google a word I don’t know, highlight things and search them and even contribute to helping those who may be studying the same topic as me. I also think my peers in Edit2000 would be interested in my question because our class focuses a lot on how technology is being used in education.

To search for my answer, I will start looking on google for technology that is commonly used in classrooms. It is also quite relevant for K12 education because schools are now starting to imprint the use of technology in classrooms as early as kindergarten. I also have a family member who works in elementary and I can ask them if they can describe what type of technology they use in their classroom and also their opinion on whether technology helps students learn better. I just started following SMART Technologies (@SMART_Tech) on Twitter. You can also search hashtags such as #Education, #Edtec, #Futureready and #Flippedclass