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Technology is constantly growing, and the contagious fever for modern electrical equipment has spread as far as educational institutions across the US. One of the most popular innovations in a generation of new teaching approaches are smart boards - devices which can enhance the enjoyability and effectiveness of lessons. We know of their profound successes, but how exactly are these boards used in the typical school environment?
In this day and age, a classroom without a smart board is seen as incomplete. These touch sensitive devices - usually connected to a computer system and projector - engage students in fun and rewarding activities that make learning more enjoyable and productive than in the past.
One of the biggest uses of these boards is the adaptability for presentation software. PowerPoints can be brought up on the large screen and controlled with a specially-designed pen or a simple finger touch. This makes it much easier to present information to a collective group at one time, rather than being cramped around a small screen that is difficult to view.
An abundance of learning websites can also be accessed, many of which have games with high educational value. Volunteers may be asked up to the front of the room to operate the board on behalf of their classmates, choosing the answers to an online history quiz, for instance. Math and foreign languages activities are also common, and pairs of students can even go head-to-head in a gripping encounter using such games. This is particularly useful when conducting a starter activity that will get students into the right frame of mind for the ensuing tasks.
Adding to the extensive benefit list for smart boards is the sheer amount of paper they can save you, the teacher. Rather than printing out a written document as a hand out, you can bring it up on the screen for all the class to see without difficulty. Here, the highlighting tools can be used to pick out and draw attention to key bits of information.
The versatility of these smart boards really is a vital component of their success. Lesson presentations can be made on a home computer, saved onto a memory stick and later uploaded onto the screen in school. This saves time and ensures that every minute of the school day is used to good effect.
Don't get the wrong idea, though: you don't have to make everything in advance. It's equally possible to write information onto the board during the lesson. This is great when brainstorming ideas as a class, as they can quickly be noted onto the screen and kept up there for reference in the lesson's main activity. It's common practice for teachers to write learning objectives on the board for the start of class so that students can settle and understand what it is they will be doing as soon as they come into the room.
There really are a whole host of benefits when it comes to smart boards, and their uses in the classroom are never-ending. The above applications act as a handful of ways in which the boards may be used to create a more effective learning environment, but the best way to find out the true extent of this is try it for yourself.