Many teachers in my district received SMARTboards this year. I’d had a SMARTboard in the last school I’d taught in, but after moving to Greenwood last year, I was without my beloved plastic slab for a year. Having an interactive whiteboard for two years—learning to use it, love it, and depend on it, and then having to switch back to chalk—I break into a sweat now just thinking about it.
Two teachers at Greenwood received SMARTboards last year. These were the first interactive whiteboards in the district. Part of my job was to teach them how to use that new tool in the classroom. I helped both of them learn the ropes while I held my jealousy at bay.
This year, three more teachers have received SMARTboards—me included, thank goodness.
The transition to using interactive whiteboards in the classroom, as it is for anything new in the school, was different for every teacher. For me, it was like coming home. The three teachers in my end of the building are not firmly chalk-free and online. We quickly scanned in worksheets and imported the scans onto the whiteboard. In one day, we made all of our overheads obsolete.
The SMARTboard has changed the way I teach. It has changed, too, how my students learn; they are more engaged than ever. Many of my lessons now resemble game shows. I have written several weeks’ worth of material on the board and never had to erase anything.
The interactive whiteboard is an example of a simple tool that has the potential to fundamentally change the future of education for the better. If you have one and apply yourself to it, you may already understand what it means to love the thing and wonder how you ever did without it. If you don’t have one, don’t worry; you may have one soon enough. Then you’ll understand completely.
I could go on for ages about the SMARTboard. In fact, I plan to post frequently about new skills I am picking up. I hope I’ll also get comments from you readers about how you use interactive whiteboards.