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Smart Board: Lessons and Activities

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Teachers have many technological tools to use in the classroom these days, including the Smart Board. What is a Smart Board, and what's so great about it? Read on to find out, then test your knowledge with a quiz.

What's a Smart Board?

A Smart Board is a type of interactive whiteboard used in education to enhance teaching and learning. The Smart Board looks like a regular whiteboard but has many more features that make it a pretty spiffy tool for teachers and students. Here's how it works: There are three main parts to using a Smart Board - the whiteboard, a projector and a computer. The whiteboard is mounted on the wall and the projector is angled to display data onto the board. A computer is connected, either wirelessly or through a USB cable, and voila! Anything that can be seen on the computer screen is now being transmitted to the whiteboard. But wait, there's more.

The components of a Smart Board
smart board

Since the surface of the Smart Board is interactive, teachers and students can use it as a touch screen to manipulate, move and record information. A Smart Board comes with a set of pens and an eraser, so it also works as a traditional whiteboard. Information written with the pens can be saved into a file for later use or printed. Note that any object can be used as a pen once one is picked up from the tray. Ever want to write with your finger? The Smart Board lets you do that!

But really, the Smart Board is used for more than just making fun pictures with our fingers. Teachers rely on this cutting-edge technology for daily instruction. Why is the Smart Board so popular? Let's take a look at why teachers use Smart Boards in education.

Why Use a Smart Board?

Teaching with a Smart Board has been a game changer for many educators. A few key reasons include:

  • Smart Boards are engaging. The board is basically a giant, interactive computer the whole class can see. Traditional whiteboards and chalk boards allowed the teacher to write information for students, but the Smart Board can take that concept to a whole new level. The teacher can show videos, photos and notes, all with colorful, eye-catching graphics.
  • Technology is present. More than ever, teachers rely on the Internet for information in their daily teaching. Having a Smart Board means teachers can share lessons from the Internet directly with students.

Students using a Smart Board during a class activity
smart board

  • Operations are easy and clean. Instead of making 25 copies of a math problem on a copy machine, the teacher can now scan the document and show it on the Smart Board. This cuts down on the impact on the environment - no more wasted paper - and teacher time. Plus, copiers are notoriously fussy, so the less copies a teacher has to make, the better.
  • Smart Boards connect learning. A Smart Board can interact with other technology easily. Students can create PowerPoint and Prezi presentations, or make a video and share it with the class on the Smart Board. Teachers can also connect to other digital devices, such as an electronic microscope.

Now that we know why teachers love Smart Boards, let's take a look at how we see them used in the classroom. Teachers can use them as teaching aids as tools to play educational games and activities with students.

Smart Boards in the Classroom

Teaching with a Smart Board

Smart teachers use their Smart Boards in many different ways. Here are some ways teachers put their Smart Boards to use:

  • Taking notes: We have a lot of new technology these days. But the fact is, students still need to take notes here and there. Using a Smart Board to deliver notes is easier for the teacher; instead of writing on the board, a document can be created and saved to be used in different settings. This same document, when shown on the Smart Board, can be interacted with to add, delete or modify information. Teachers can add graphics, video or other eye-catching information to traditional notes, and students can be part of the note-taking process by adding information directly to the whiteboard.

The Smart Board allows students to contribute to presentations and lessons.
smart board

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