Friday, November 6, 2009

Smartboard Prep

I am a big fan of incorporating Smartboard technology in my daily lessons, but have found that the time preparing the lessons and activities has become a bit prohibitive. I do not have a dedicated system in my room and need to sign out the board, projector and laptop from the library in order to use the technology in class. We only have one mobile Smartboard in our school and teachers need to plan days or weeks in advance to ensure that the technology is available and also need to "buffer" the use date so that everything can be set up and finalized the day before the lesson and returned the day following the lesson as the storage room is locked when the final bell rings.

As I said, I love the technology, but the convenience of the tech is lost when the procedures around using the technology is so frustrating and difficult. Thankfully we just had the program downloaded to our desktop units so that we can at least start a lesson in advance of borrowing the resources. Unfortunately, the inconvenience of our procedures has made me less likely to incorporate the tech as often as I would like. Upon speaking with a colleague with a mounted Smartboard at the Upper Middle School, I learned that he came in an hour to an hour and a half early each day to create his lessons. I don't know if this is feasible for every teacher or even a reasonable expectation.

I am hoping to get a mounted/dedicated Smartboard in the next year or two and hope that I will have created lessons for the majority of my curriculum within two to three years.

For those of you with Smartboards or Promethean systems, how long did it take you to create an arsenal of lessons? How often do you use your technology? How often do you use its dynamic aspects vs. using it as a plug-in whiteboard?

For those of you that do not have dedicated units, do you have access to this technology? What is the procedure for using it and do you find the technology easily accessible? What challenges have you run into and what seems to be working?

Thanks in advance for any insight or thoughts!


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