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.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Now Where Is New York

Here we are back at work and the children are as eager as ever to learn??? (well some of them at least :). The first week back has proceeded pretty much as normal though now I have reclaimed my time release as all other teachers have had their "orientation to the board" session. Each of our other three boards have been mounted over the hols however a mix up with the USB cables has meant that they are not yet operational in the respective rooms just yet. GRRRRRUMBLE !!!!!! (Why is it that the technical assistance is often the most problematic aspect of these sort of implementations?).

Back in room 11 though things have proceeded much more smoothly. This week we had some visitors from the US who were visiting the school for a whole different set of reasons other than checking out the board. The Prin however asked if we wouldn't mind doing our "show and tell" routine which the children were more than happy to oblige with. It is most interesting to see how all are getting very proficient at "working" the board, doing the "wow" things with the SMART Notebook software very efficiently, (writing greetings, converting to text, changing fonts, rotating and resizing etc with professional ease). I just sit back and marvel.

This time they even took the lead and suggested showing our visitors things out of the gallery. A quick browse found the map of North America and our poor visitors had to try to explain where New York was, (which in this case proved a little tricky).

Much less tricky, (but more impressive), was our next "exhibition". This time we showed off one of the great features of the board, the ability to deliver "just in time" immediately relevant experiences. An hour earlier in a class discussion we had been talking about internal combustion engines and valves, (yep these kids are 9-10 year olds). Over recess, I had done a quick Google on "internal combustion" with "Flash animation" and of course come up a page from How Stuff Works, (why did I bother, I should have known that....). Our guests were blown away by the way in which the children were so engaged by the animation and immediately, without prompting drew parallels between this animation and ones viewed previously showing the workings of the heart. One visitor later actually commented on how engaged the whole class was with the experience and how well they were understanding a concept the teacher concerned knew little about.

Later we were to have another group through but time constraints meant they only looked in at the door as we "read" a Flash animated story on the board. I had by that time remembered however a "little" download I had made during the hols. Google Earth proved quite a hit as we zeroed in on New York and then later on Melbourne and Geelong. This is an absolutely fab tool, highly recommended. Also worht downloading, (though only over a very good broadband connection is the 180 Mb NASA World Wind application that delivers even better "realtime" satellite images. HUGE!!!!!!


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