Monday, February 7, 2011

Technology in the Classroom - Smart Boards and Stuff

In class last week, we had a presentation on Smart Boards.  I have had very little contact with Smart Boards other than to use them as an interactive PowerPoint presentation.  As we were hearing about all of the features of Smart Boards, I kept thinking about my seven-year-old cousin Matthew.  Smart Boards were made for kids like Matthew.  Matthew has been using technology since he was able to get his hands on it.  At age two, he taught my mom how to use all of the remote controls in his house.  Matthew is the most engaged when he is in contact with technology.  Can you imagine how much more he would learn if we could channel the curriculum through technology?  Oh wait, we can! 
The Smart Board, and other technologies like it, is a gateway into the minds of students like Matthew.  How do you make learning about verbs and adjectives interesting?  Ask the students to perform activities using the Smart Board.  I think the best part about the Smart Board is that it doesn’t change what students are learning rather, it enhances their learning.  It is simply another way to differentiate the learning of a classroom and to better reach all learners.
Technology can be a fantastic tool in the classroom.  Technology can transform student learning.  I think it is incredibly important for teachers to stay up to date with current technologies.  The more you use it, the easier it is to adapt to the latest trend.  During a presentation in one of my other classes, the presenter read, word-for-word, off the PowerPoint and each slide had long paragraphs of text.  In order to teach students that far surpass our skills in technology, we must have at least a grasp of how to use our technology appropriately.  Learning how to use PowerPoint is much more than just learning how to put text on a slide.  Let’s learn how to use our technology appropriately!

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