Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SMART Board Class - What's the Point?

I'm starting a SMART Board class for our district teachers. I think the class is a great idea, but I'm struggling with what direction to take. Should it be more on how to create? Focus more on where to find information? It's only a one credit hour class, so time is limited. It appears I'll have a wide variety of knowledge levels and backgrounds, so what do you think? What has worked for you in the past?
I don't have all of the pages filled in on the website, but you get a general idea of what each session will discuss. We will meet about every two weeks (3 weeks between one of the sessions). Really would love some feedback. Thanks in advance!


cpultz [lps] said...

You are not alone.

When it comes down to it, an interactive white board is a higher order tool. It is not difficult to use one - a child can figure it out. However, to be used appropriately takes a wide range of underlying skills, as you mention in your post.

I often find myself in the same position when leading staff development on a tool. Take PowerPoint as an example. Do I train people how to use the tool, or do I train them on appropriate and best practices for using it? I might be able to teach them how to use PowerPont in an hour, but to teach how to present information effectively would take considerably longer, and would really have little to do with the tool itself. In nearly every case I must default to the instruction on the tool itself due to time considerations, and feel guilty for perpetuating poor use of it in the field. I console myself with the thought that they wanted to learn PowerPoint, not sit through graduate level information design programming.

In a perfect world, we would have a technology continuum that teachers must progress down.

1) Pedagogy (visual literacy, interactive design theory, etc)

2) Low level gadgetry (cameras, scanners, projectors,

3) Software (productivity software, graphic software, curricular softwares, etc.)

4) Web & research tools (Software, search engines, internet safety, databases, web based applications, etc.)

5) Higher level gadgetry (interactive white boards, clickers, etc.)

6) Social Networking tools (blogs, wikis, yada, yada, yada)

7) Pedagogy (focused on learning with technological slant)

But we don't.

If "ifs and buts" were candy and nuts we'd all have a merry Christmas. We can dream, right?

J Allen said...

Love it. I agree whole heartedly. I keep saying that I should do what you mentioned (including NETS-T), but I don't know that I've stepped up to the plate. I appreciate the comment.

KPlacek said...

okay I was going to comment - but I don't think I can hold a candle to cpultz....I think that is what we all struggle with. I constantly which I could teach 'why' instead of 'how' - but I think 'how' is a necessary first step - and I hope time will allow for me to show teachers how to integrate their resources into technology rather than a simple how to that they find useless. ANYWHO - I do TONS of SMARTBoard training - and would love to discuss any tips. But I do mostly show people how to use it - and then send them on their merry way ....sad i know :(

Anonymous said...

I am in the same position as you are. Getting ready to train on this equipment. I think it is important to show an example of simply writing on the board, playing with a web site and then show a 'real' lesson. One that was created for the Smart Board in mind and uses standards as well. I see teachers using the board to play with a web site which is great. But this is only a beginner level truly! Some may disagree but I feel there is so much more to this technology other than using it as a giant projection screen!