Saturday, November 30, 2013

How smart are Smart Boards?

A Smart Board combines the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer. It’s an electronic whiteboard that interacts with users in a number of different ways: it can project the contents of a computer to the entire class (for example, the teacher’s laptop, or the iPad of the student doing a presentation, or from the Internet), and it can also be a gigantic touch screen that registers input from fingers and special Smart Board pens.

This technology encourages active collaboration by students, because it allows them to access large volumes of data, share their findings with others (even those who are not in the same geographic location) and save their work. Even quiet and withdrawn students respond well to Smart Boards and increase their classroom participation through interaction with this gadget.

Visual students love the colourful pens, the images and the video clips. Auditory students appreciate the sounds that accompany their interactions with the Smart Board, such as different beeps to right and wrong answers. Tactile students enhance their learning experience by manipulating data on the touch-sensitive Smart Board.

On the other hand, Smart Boards don’t offer kids an adaptive or individualised learning environment. They don’t provide social feedback. The teacher still controls the content and the lesson plan. At the end of the day, it's still just a blackboard that’s white, more appealing to techno-junkies and more media-enabled.   

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