Friday, April 1, 2011

SMART Board Lessons

For the most part, I am very familiar with different forms of educational technology.  However when it comes to interactive whiteboards, I have not had experience using it in a classroom.  Therefore I am not confident is my SMART Board skills.  This week's lesson definitely helped build my confidence, although I am sure I have still have a lot to learn.  Listening to Alan November showed the importance of using interactive whiteboards effectively in the classroom and there needs to be less emphasis on teacher-centered lessons, which some teachers tend to fall back on.  I think having a SMART Board in your classroom is a privilege and instead of using it as a projectors teachers must truly be trained and encourage to use the board's full potential.  

I can remember being first introduced to SMART Board in my 11th grade chemistry class, and my entire class was in awe how our teacher was able to take notes writing/typing them on the board.  Once the shock wore off after a couple weeks, we became bored.  All we were doing was taking notes on what she was putting on the SMART Board.  Sometimes she would put images up or movies embedded in the lesson and that would make class interesting, however there needed to be more student involvement.  

So when I was looking for a lesson on the SMART Exchange, I wanted to find something that was truly interactive and student-centered.  I searched and found a lot of fun reviews games, but felt that most of the games would be hard to tie into social studies content areas besides reviewing for a test.  Then I searched for just social studies lessons, and found an interesting Susan B. Anthony lesson  that had images and two videos within the lesson, however, it was still teacher-centered since a teacher would have to lead the discussion.  Finally I found a great lesson for younger grades introducing European countries to students, where they can discover and learn what they are interested it, called Let's Explore Europe.  This lesson was great because it allowed students to pick which country they wanted to learn about and then could pick what they wanted to hear, view, and read.  It was very interactive and I feel it would motivate students to learn more about each country or their own country in depth.  

Take a look for yourself at SMART Exchange.

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