Mr P's SMART Board

One teacher's record of the implementation of a SMART Board Interactive whiteboard into a primary school classroom. For links see the Simply Science FURL. For science education try Simply Science site. For ICT check out My Other Blog. For one with the lot then go to my Suprglu archive.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What Have I Been Doing?

Because I came across an interesting video today, I checked in here again for the first time in a long time and realised that it has been almost a year since I have posted on the SMART Board blog. Rest assured I have not been lost, lazy or anything in between, it is just that most of my blogging has been done over at My Other Blog which deals with more Web 2.0 based stuff. This has taken up much of my focus alongside of the fact that I have had to move rooms and have not had such regular access to the board as in the past couple of years.

Having said that I have come across a couple of really interesting sites that any IWB user should check out. The first is the SmartBoards Lesson Podcast which is a weekly program that has discussion and guest presenters who describe how they use their SmartBoards as well as links to web based and other resources that might be useful to use with the boards. In the hosts own words,

"The purpose of this site is to accompany a free podcast that focuses on using SMART Boards in the classroom. Each episode will feature a lesson, a podcast, and user comments. The hosts, Joan Badger and Ben Hazzard, have been recognized as Canadian & International Innovative Teachers by Microsoft, SMART Exemplary Educators and Conference Presenters on the use of SMARTBoards in the classroom. Joan teaches Grade 6 and provides professional development for teachers in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Ben has taught from Grades 4 through 7 in Brampton, Ontario, Canada and then Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. The goal of this podcast to share lesson ideas that use technology to engage students in learning with a focus on SMARTBoard Interactive Whiteboards between educators."

Another interesting resource from eSchool News Online is a video excerpt from the recent CoSN annual conference in San Francisco, where a panel of ed-tech experts debated whether interactive whiteboards are worth the investment. An interesting discussion indeed.

For Aussie teachers an important conference to put in the diary is the annual IWBnet conference to be held at Emmanuel College, Birmingham Road, Carrara, Gold Coast Queensland 4211 on Thursday 30, Friday 31 August and Saturday 1 September 2007. The previous 2 year's conferences have been extremely successful and this year's program looks just as jam packed. I will be there....................

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

IWB's Hit The Big TIme

I went along to the ICT in Education Victoria Conference the other weekend and was fascinated by the fact that in a program of 60+ sessions, six of these sessions dealt with interactive whiteboards. I was one of them of course :). Given the number of sessions on offer I was quite chuffed to have a full house. Once again my good friend Jeremy from Electroboard came to the fore with a brand new board to present with. I was also pleased to have the support of another colleague from school as a co-presenter. My colleague did a fabulous job demonstrating and sharing her work with the board. I learnt lots from listening to her as well and it was great to have support to keep me under control as I do tend to get carried away. Again one hour is just enough time to whet the audience's appetite and I am sure that we could have gone on for much more time.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Everything Old Is (well no quite as good as) New Again

We have just taken delivery of three brand spanking new SMART Boards and wow isn't it making me feel a bit jealous. The boards themselves are a bit larger and their are some nice changes to the pen tray, especially where the eraser fits in. (One of my children snapped a pin off of our room's board the other day so the changes here are very practical). The pens are also slightly easier in the hand. The big changes are in the peripherals that are bundled with it. The lucky rooms now have wireless slates as well as keyboards and mice and the children are already getting into it with them. The modular speakers that come with the board are also great looking. Pity that the instructions that come with the speakers are diagramatic without text and that I am not as practical in reading them as might be hoped. Maybe tomorrow I will get the time to figure it out :). Another big plus are the projectors that are super crisp and clear.

Speaking of the projectors it seems that, especially in schools where dust is a pretty endemic, that there is a need to regularly service the projectors to maintian the display something mine is desperately in need of.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Venn Did "i" Miss The Point

Isn't interesting how some holidays make you forget what you used to be able to deal without more than a passing thought. Today we were using the board for a small reading group activity. I had found two versions of the Hare and The Tortoise and had gotten the Venn Diagram template from Smart Ideas. The object was for the children in the group to find the differences and similarities between the two stories. Things were going well until we had the need to write in the letter "i". Naturally the children wanted to "dot their i's", however each time they did so the words were straight away turned into text and the component of the template that they had clicked on became active. This was altogether very frustrating for all and even more so for me as in the hurly burly of the class I couldn't think clearly enough about how to remedy the situation.

Later in the cool of the evening when the class had long gone home I remembered what I should have done. When I had opened the Venn Diagram Template, I should have modified it to suit the task, (eg added clipart and special text) and then sent all of the diagram to the background. You do this quite easily by first dragging over the items that you want to send to the back and then go to "Tools" and select "Make Background". This will make certain that the diagram and text and pictures that make up the template will not move or be changed. (N.B. you can get your background back to modify it again if you wish by once again going to "Tools" and then selecting "Retrieve Background".

'i" see the light :)

Friday, March 03, 2006

A "Time"ly Warning

The Times Online report that

"Tests carried out by the UK National Radiological Protection Board have shown that the peripheral vision of users may be harmed even when they are not looking directly into the beam of the projector. Damage to the retina, causing tunnel vision, can result."

The whole article can be viewed at,,2-1451266,00.html

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Lab-substitute

At our place we have a nice computer lab that has 27 desktops and a data projector which is used to "teach" applications. Of course it is also heavily timetabled with very few chances for the "off the cuff" teaching as the moment requires. At the moment we are exploring blogging and wikis. Over the weekend I became aware of a great wiki based project called Wikiville. It was the perfect platform for introducing my new class to the concepts of wikis. Of course our lab time is on Friday so normally a whole long week would have had to elapse before we could explore the world of wiki.

With the board however we had no such problems and soon we were exploring how a wiki worked. Switching back to the Notebook we began constucting our first entry by dot pointing and then expanding them into statements. We then manipulated the sentences into an acceptable order before copying and then pasting them into Wikiville, all within the hour session. A number of children were so taken by the experience that they went home and added to the wiki from home. On reflection doing the intro via the board and using the Notebook was far preferable to doing something similar on the lab and we did it "just as the need arose".

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Camping We Will Go

With the new year comes a whole new school camp to go to along with a whole lot of questions about what it is like. As none of we teachers had yet to visit it also, answering these queries and stemming the concerns of our newest Grade 3's was a bit tricky.

In the nick of time the light bulb in the head flashed on and soon we had "Googled" the camp. Their directly on the board were pics of the camp and surrounds in full screen colour along with the suggested menu, (which was eagerly devoured metaphorically) plus a list of the optional activities. Within ten minutes of exploration of the site all the fears had disappeared into a chorus of "I can't wait to do...." Pity the teachers in the parallel non-IWB classrooms, we'll have to invite them in later :).