Smart Boards In The Classroom

By: Hamzah Tariq

The last couple of years have seen the introduction of (almost) affordable LCD projectors and interactive white boards, namely smart boards, into schools and colleges throughout the United States. While most schools have embraced this technology and the new teaching opportunities it affords, some, especially special schools have had difficulty coming up with ways to use it with their students. This article describes some of the ways we have used our smart board and LCD projector with our SLD and PMLD students.

Smart boards can be used anywhere with video cameras or players and will happily connect to any computer providing the software has been installed. Most smart boards can be fitted to a moveable stand enabling you to push it wherever it is needed in school (and allowing access to kids in wheel chairs!). Tape the cables to the floor using gaffer tape so no one can trip over them and teach the kids how to load the software and calibrate the screen getting them to count the points as they touch them.

Interactive whiteboards add a whole new dimension to the use of art software. Freed from the cognitive load of having to use the mouse, kid’s creativity runs wild. Children who would struggle to make even the simplest of pictures with a mouse, confidently choose colors and tools and produce quite complex patterns and pictures with hands and fingers.

A smart board and LDC projector provide opportunities for students to access technology in a highly motivating way. It is our experience after using the equipment for over a year that kids learn quicker and retain more of the lesson when they have used the whiteboard. Start your lesson with a turn taking session on the board then let them loose on the computer and see for yourself how much they have remembered!

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