I read ‘The Art and Science of Teaching: Teaching with Interactive Whiteboards,” and it made me reflect upon how useful Smartboard technology can be as a learning tool when used effectively. In the study described in the article, using SmartBoards was associated with a 16th percentile increase in student achievement. When our speakers came to class last week and demonstrated how to use SmartBoard technology, I was amazed by all the different tools and features they have. They are like giant iPads that you can write on! I definitely agree with this article when it says that SmartBoards make learning more interactive and fun. These boards can be used with everyone from elementary school students to adult learners.
I think that SmartBoards are great tools for teachers and presenters because they allow listeners to interact with the material using the learner-response device. SmartBoards also allow presenters to present their material in an interesting or unusual way that is memorable to the audience using graphics and reinforcers. In my high school math and economics classes, we used SmartBoard handheld voting devices frequently. I found that doing math problems and answering questions this way was much more engaging than doing them via more traditional methods such as pencil and paper. I also liked that we received immediate feedback using this method. It was sometimes a little embarrassing when the results of everyone in the class were displayed on the Smartboard and I got questions wrong that most of the class did not. However, it was motivating to see where I stood among my classmates.
I believe that SmartBoards are worthy of installing in schools and businesses, as long as they are used to teach the material effectively. Their uses are not limited to classrooms- they can be used in business settings or even in allied health therapies. In this video, a woman describes how she integrates her SmartBoard in her speech therapy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIsSMgNYfKI
The article describes how teachers who did not pace their material well or did not explain why one response was more appropriate than another saw better results without using SmartBoards. As with any form of technology used in education, SmartBoards are no substitute for a competent and effective teacher. Since they can cost up to $5,000, it is important that teachers and presenters take advantage of this tool.