Smart Boards

Posted on February 8, 2010. Filed under: edublog, educational, reflection |

Wow, waste of money, no. Expensive, yes. Time consuming, depends… I think it is very interesting coming to discussions about technology with an early childhood perspective. I think Smart Boards can be and should be used in completely different ways depending on the grade. I have never seen them used in high school because they weren’t invented when I went to high school, and I have only done internships in early childhood classrooms. There are definitely pros and cons to using them in ece.

Pro– The children love the idea of touching the board, and in some senses becoming the teacher for a moment. Just like when we were young, we used to love going up to the board and getting a chance to write on the chalkboard.

Pro– It keeps children’s attention and gives children specific visuals. I used our school’s smart board for a sorting activity in my grade 1/2 class. They had to put the food under the right food guide category. Using the smart board for this activity was way easier then finding pictures of each food, cutting them out and having the children sticky tack them to the white board. So pro #1 it gave them great visuals to go with each food name, pro #2 it took less time to create then creating the lesson manually

Pro– It gives the teacher an excellent way to assess the child/children. For me, assessment is one of the areas I feel weak in. I am constantly battling the pressure to create fun learning experiences vs. lessons with a “stronger” form of assessment. Having lessons with the smart board are an excellent way to see and assess every child during the lesson while still having a fun learning experience for them.

Con– THE DREADED SHADOW.  When a smart board is shared in a school, and needs to be rolled into a room and set up with a projector on a cart- this is a bad thing!  My 1/2 students are just at the wrong height for projector carts.  They constantly struggle with trying to move objects on the board because their shadow gets in the way.  I understand this isn’t an issue when installed, but until every room has a smartboard, this will continue to be a problem.
Con– Prep. It depends on what type of lesson you are trying to create, but sometimes the planning and prep for a smart board lesson is not worth the amount of learning that is going to happen through the lesson. I know myself, that I have spent hours on the software trying to create fun exciting lessons where the outcome was more fun than connected to the curriculum.
I’m sure there are other pros and cons that people can come up with for early childhood, but I think the pros outweigh the cons, and I am definitely planning on continuing to use smart boards when I get a job.

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