Teacher’s Guide: How to Use a Smart Board in the Classroom

Teacher’s Guide: How to Use a Smart Board in the Classroom
The Editorial Team February 1, 2013

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Learning how to use a Smart Board in the classroom does not have to be difficult, as long as teachers understand that good teaching is still the most important thing in the classroom.

Smart Boards have been making their way into classrooms since 1991, and have proven themselves as effective teaching tools. As with all technology, however, there are certain challenges for teachers attempting to adopt Smart Boards. Here are a few tips:

Just a tool

Smart Boards can be a bit overwhelming at times with all their options including access to the Internet, which is filled with even more options. All those options are wonderful until the moment they create overload in a student’s mind and contribute to confusion.

Just as they did before the advent of the Smart Board, teachers must determine what their classes need to learn, and how best to teach that information. As long as a foundation of good, solid teaching is established, the teacher can work in any tool that is helpful to accomplish his or her goal. Fortunately, the Smart Board is so adaptable that teachers should have no difficulty in integrating it effectively.

Also, teachers do not have to reinvent the wheel. Smart Boards have been around long enough that there are a variety of resources to get a teacher started with the tool.

Tips for putting a smart board to work

Below are a few ideas to consider when using a Smart Board in the classroom. This list is in no way comprehensive, and teachers will likely develop their own particular uses for the Smart Board as they gain familiarity with it.

Keep it interactive

Smart Boards are a wonderful way to focus students’ attention in the classroom, especially in elementary school. Teachers report great success with having students come up and work out problems on the Smart Board in front of the classroom. Because the technology is interesting, children are eager to work with it, and teachers should take advantage of this by having every student come up and work on the board.

Utilize color

Teachers can make the text and background on the Smart Board any color they like, and they should take advantage of the brain’s natural tendencies towards memorization. The brain remembers more efficiently with blue or green backgrounds and white or yellow text. The screen does not have to stay this way, but a teacher can certainly use it during lessons where memorization is important.

Save students’ work

Because the Smart Board is connected to a computer, teachers can save the work a student does for later review. When applicable, teachers should take advantage of this feature to assist students after the lesson is over, while the student is working on other problems.

Flip the classroom

Some teachers are reversing the way they run some classes. The Smart Board allows teachers to work through a lesson and save it for students to review at home. Thus, students can watch lessons at home, then come into class to work on their problems with a teacher. This may not be ideal for all situations, but it is certainly an interesting option for those inclined to test it.

Use the web

There are vast educational resources available online, from video to text to interactive applications. Whenever a teacher needs to flesh out a lesson, it cannot hurt to do a relevant search to find interesting resources. Enthusiasm is infectious, and a teacher who is excited to demonstrate a new find will transfer that energy to students.

Keep learning about the Smart Board

Teachers continue to discover new and innovative ways to use the Smart Board, and it  requires just a short search online to find a plethora of ideas on how to use the tool. Teachers who periodically update themselves about how others use the Smart Board will never run out of ideas for the classroom.

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