As I have previously mentioned creativity is as important as the use of technology in classrooms to gage children’s interest and get them to interact, John Davitt also feels the same way. As this YouTube video shows, technology is really making an impact on the lessons of the past. Some teachers are taking technology to a whole new level, with 3D glasses and interactive tables, but these are special cases and by no means the majority of teachers out there. IWBs are pretty much standard across schools in the US, UK and Europe, so this article will be looking at the easy, effective and creative ways to use your IWB to engage your children and get the best out of your lessons. For example a teacher I have worked with for many years plays a version of who wants to be a millionaire on the IWB. One child comes up to the front and sits in the hot seat, touching the SMARTBoard to select one of the four answers. This can be used in any lessons, be it science, maths, French…the list goes on. Helena Butterfield suggests using her IWB as a confidence builder to get children up to the front, and also as a great way to learn different languages, as you can record using a USB microphone and then play back to the class the recording. Examples from some of Blossom Learning teachers are; Daily physical activity. Use the spinning wheel which can be found in the gallery. Name the segments (jumping jacks, running on the spot, clap your hands….etc…) Use the ‘link sound’ feature to the note book page and add 5 of your favorite MP3’s. Play the music and then spin the wheel. Whatever action the needle lands on is the action the students have to do. Use the page recording feature in Notebook software to draw up ‘Football (soccer) plays”. From the gallery insert a soccer field as a background, players and a ball. Go to the properties tab and select “record”. Move the players around on the page along with the ball to make a championship winning play. Press stop recording. You can then play back the play to the rest of the players. I would be very grateful if anyone reading this has any bright ideas on how they use their IWB that might help teachers who are having mind blocks on how to get to grips with and use their IWB to the best of their ability.
Archive for May, 2010
Over the years of teaching, I have seen first-hand the connection between good nutrition and the ability to learn. Recently I was creating some healthy living activities for the resource section of my website and I came across a number of excellent websites and resources that are classroom ready. I was particularly impressed with the a site organized by the University of Texas. http://www.veggie-mon.org/ There are many great online activities. Help your students learn more through proper eating.
Don’t forget to check out my lesson activities here https://www.blossomlearning.com/Resources.aspx?ty=1 which can be downloaded for free!
During a SMART Board user conference last week I was asked if it was possible to:
- Keep a pen from the pen tray and hold it in your hand,
- Use your finger as the selector tool,
- Use the heel of your hand as an eraser… and do all of these at the same time!
Well, the answer is yes! To do this you need to change the settings on your SMART Board to do so. Simply go into your SMART Board Tools > Control Panel > SMART Hardware Settings. From the drop-down menu choose the Mouse and Gesture Settings and check the Enable Touch Recognition.
Wanting to add more images and text to a template this weekend, I decided to practice with the well known “Pairs” template found in the Lesson Activity Toolkit. I noticed that when I dragged text onto a tile, it became very small and hard to read. Since the “Pairs” template is designed to work with images, the solution is to type the text into Notebook, use the capture tool to change text into an image and then add it to the “Pairs” template. It takes a moment to complete, but since I can re-use the activity, it’s a good use of my time.
My job is to help teachers who are struggling with using IWB technology, yet during my various conversations with teachers and those in the AV world I am amazed by the fast paced continuing development of technology for the classroom. From ipads for the entire class to 3D presentations it seems as soon as teachers are comfortable with one technology, another comes along to dazzle us all. When I met with Kathryn McCauley, a hugely influential figure in the UK for ICT and education, something she mentioned stuck with me, “No matter how fantastic we [adults] find things, children have seen it all before and are not phased.” In a world where new technology is fast improving, children all have touch phones and films are now released in 3D, it is ever more imperative that schools are up to date with the latest technology and teachers are up to date with how to use this technology quickly and engagingly.
My Online Applied SMART Board Course has just been awarded Best in Tech 2010 by Scholastic Administrator! This is a great honor, thank you to all involved and a big thank you to Scholastic! If you want to check out the course or find out more information go to
The Lesson Activity Toolkit is a great resource to have. The Lesson Activity toolkit is a part of the Notebook Software. If you haven’t used the tool kit yet yet you really should, it has a large collection of interactive templates that can be adapted to suit any grade level. Add your own data, as text or image, and instantly you can have interactive reusable games that can be used to introduce a topic, provide extra support and review a concept. Students enjoy the game aspect and don’t realize that they are learning.
While working with the ink layer this weekend, I thought to myself. Is there
a way to import and edit my annotations in notebook software?
I figured it out and yes there is a way! All you have to do is take a capture of
your work using the camera icon in the ink layer border and it gets imported directly into
the Notebook software. You can then edit the digital ink as you please.
It’s that simple!
There is certainly a lot of talk recently about ICT in schools, whether you are teaching in the US, Canada, the UK or Europe, everyone seems to be talking about the use of ICT / IT and what this means for classes now. Firstly, Michael Petrilli mentions that although they are interactive, IWB are also very expensive, whilst Doug Woods comments on the fact that actually, no matter how amazing your technology / resources are, it is how you use the technology you have that matters. I feel this is so important and again, I continue to stress about the importance of knowing how to use your IWB to its fullest. As I have always maintained it’s the use of both a teachers’ imagination and their creativity mixed together with the interactivity of a SMARTboard that will benefit a student the most.