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.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Not Such a SMART Idea Again????

One of the joys of teaching is to sometimes have a pre-service teacher in your room getting classroom experience before launching into the career full time. So it is that I had the pleasure of Mrs N's company at the end of last term. As she had a bad case of flu she missed a couple of days and needed to come back to do some work with the children. As a result she chose today.

Her task was to construct a concept map type of reflection on what the students thought about maths. "Aha." I said, "Why not use the board and the SMART Ideas software?" After watching some of the colour drain from her face, (she had barely used the board yet, let alone the software.....), I re-assured Mrs. N I would be there to help. A quick demo and five minutes later the children were in the room, eager to go.

Now of course I should have known better and thought she was making a very valiant attempt Mrs. N soon needed my assistance. After we finally both figured out how to write on the board with the pen and then turn it into text based objects after less than four or more attempts things became a lot smoother. I did notice her general reluctance to write over other entries, (a bit like not making the page too messy), whereas I tend to just compose wherever on the board and then move it to the spot it is needed, (shrinking and modifying on the way). Anyway we soon had a range of ideas and points listed on the board and again the utility of doing it this way soon came into great advantage as Mrs. N and the children moved them easily around to make a well ordered arrangement reflective of their comments on maths.

The question was then raised as to whether we could print the concept map. The answer yes however didn't quite provide the result we were looking for. Despite a little exploration of the menus, we could only print a relatively small, (a slightly smaller than B4 size copy of the map), when we were rather looking for a full A4 page presentation. I know that I could have copied and pasted the map into Word as a picture file and then enlarged it that way but there was not enough time in that session as Mrs. N had to keep moving. (A later quick look through the Help files for SMART Ideas also failed to suggest any other way around the problem.) Suffice to say we also had similar problems with earlier versions of Inspiration software, (though they seem to have solved that one in Version 7).


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