40 million students and teachers across 175 different nations around the world have taken advantage SMART Board technology since their incarnation in 1991. Today’s SMART Board solutions are far more advanced than those introduced. One of the main reasons for their popularity is that they give educators and students an opportunity to learn in an interactive and immersive way that just couldn’t happen with traditional teaching aids.
SMART Board solutions are now leveraging advanced LED flat-panel technology, some of the most laser accurate and precision focused point and touch recognition hardware, pressure sensitive pen and writing instruments, and even audio and video solutions assist collaboration with teachers and students all over the world in a way never before possible.
Of course, getting set up in the classroom with a SMART board isn’t all it takes to make the most of this technology. You’ll want to be sure that you are using it to its full potential as an educator to enliven your curriculum with the material you are teaching. When used correctly, a SMART Board can bring even the driest material alive so that students have a much higher retention level.
Here are our seven tips and tricks to make sure you’re making the most of everything SMART Board technology has to offer!
1. Leverage built-in templates to rapidly iterate new lesson plans
One of the most significant advantages SMART Board technology brings to the table is the ability to dive into the SMART Lesson Activity Builder (LAB) features. Educators are going to find 10 core activity templates in the LAB, templates that can be used right out of the box to improve lesson plans dramatically while making use of all the technology a SMART Board offers. Better yet, these plans can be completely customised for each lesson plan and cover a variety of different subject matters, giving educators the opportunity to rapidly iterate new lesson plans on the fly with their SMART Board without having to start from scratch every time, how good is that?
2. Teach students to use the SMART Board with devices they are familiar with
Another powerful feature that often goes overlooked by educators is the ability to make use of the electronic devices that students usually have in their pockets anyway – these mobile devices that they are so familiar with. Rather than trying to call on all of your students individually when using the SMART Board, or trying to teach them to use a brand-new interface, chewing up valuable time that could have been better spent teaching. Instead, encourage students to connect to the SMART Board. This allows them to follow along with the lesson plan and submit their answers instantly. As a teacher you get a view of the whole class with answers from everyone, just not those few eager students that always know then answer
3. Make use of the OCR technology built right in
SMART Board solutions are, obviously, “smart” and one of the smartest features that they have built right in is the Optical Character Recognition technology – also known as OCR. OCR radically transforms handwritten text into typed text, which allows you to write on your SMART Board in your handwriting while having it convert in real-time. Every character you write goes into a digital and easy to read version that can also be displayed on other electronic devices paired with your SMART Board. This can be particularly handy when you are teaching advanced mathematics. Even formulas can be written by hand, transformed into easy to read digital text versions of those formulas, and will also be converted into easy to digest graphs and visual aids to provide a full multimedia learning experience – all from your handwriting!
4. Provide instant positive feedback with the SMART Ink feature set
Educators have long understood the power of instant positive feedback and the impact that it can have on a student trying their best to learn new material. The SMART Board makes it easy to effortlessly reward the hard work of students working on the SMART Board with SMART Ink “stickers” that show them – in the rest of the class – that they are doing a great job! You can use the provided stickers and stamps to get your point across as an educator, but you’ll also have the opportunity to create up to 20 of your own ‘custom’ stickers and stamps that can be saved and reused as much as you like. Find out how here… (end of document)
5. Cut down on paper waste with the SMART AMP add-on
Passing out paperwork and materials for your students to use always involves a dreaded trip to the copy machine and far more paper than any environmentally friendly or environmentally conscious school, or educator is comfortable with. Things only get worse when we all realise that all of that paper is just going to end up in the garbage shortly after it has been handed out, really compounding the amount of waste we generate in our education system. Utilising the SMART AMP allows you to quickly share copies, worksheets, and classroom materials in a digital format with all of these files tied back to the lesson plan and materials shared on the SMART Board. You’ll cut down on paper waste, provide a more efficient process of getting your materials out, and guarantee that your students have everything they need no matter where they find themselves, thanks to those documents “living” in the cloud.
6. Keep better track of contributions to collaborative projects
We’ve all been there before. A group project is assigned, and some students decide to let one or two students in the group handle all of the “heavy lifting” – leaning on them to carry the weight and get everyone a better grade. With the SMART AMP, you’ll be able to find out precisely who is contributing to collaborative projects and how much everyone is working on the team project. You will better understand how the group is working as a whole and if they are in fact working together in the first place. Best of all, students don’t have to be doing the same work to contribute to the project. As long as they are all working in the same shared workspace together, they can be doing a variety of different tasks. For example; a student watching a YouTube video for research, while another transcribes handwritten notes. This way everyone will still get credit for collaborating and pulling their weight on the project even though they played different roles.
7. Keep better track of how everyone is progressing with the material you are teaching
As an educator, the mission is to make sure that every student in the class can fully grasp and understand the material that is being shared with them. At the same time, all educators know that every individual student learns at their very own pace and that it is unreasonable to expect everyone to “get it” all at the same time.
8. What if you could find out how much all your students know
With the SMART Response, you can have the opportunity to keep every student’s answer anonymous, if you chose, while tracking their scores internally, allowing educators to get a better feel for how everyone is progressing. At the same time, it makes it easy to identify students that are ahead of the game as well as those that may need a little bit of extra help and focus to get catch up.
At the end of the day, technology is making it a lot easier to help today’s students learn and excel in a variety of different disciplines.
SMART Board solutions, in particular, are designed to help students that are growing up with cutting-edge technology learn in a way that traditional teaching methods really never could. New add-ons, new features, and new ways to utilise a SMART Board in the classroom are always being pioneered and innovated. A lot of these solutions are shared as part of the collaborative SMART Board community and membership platform – perhaps the best resource for getting the most out of everything that this technology has to offer.
Savvy educators are already leveraging SMART Board technology in their classrooms, and many of them are excited about our new membership program that will help them get even more out of this investment in the next generation’s education!
If you would like to see how an interactive whiteboard might fit into your school call us on 1300 139 292