Zoe's tech class has got to be the shortest two hours I have ever seen. Every week the hands on the clock seem to fly around until 3 pm. Today, was very fascinating, as we got to play/learn some of the technologies SMART offers. Once my computer (it's getting old and is a little bit stubborn) decided to download the notebook, I was able to play with the various resources Smart has to offer. I really like the idea of usign smart boards in the classrooms becuase it allows kids to get up and moving and fully interact with their learning. I know as a student I would have loved to be able to work through things on a board like that. As a teacher I think it is great becuase we allow students to interact with information from the internet without them having to stare at their individual computer screens all the time.
Smart offers many of the simple resources that the average word processor or presentation maker has to offer. you can change backgrounds, font, colours, etc. What is great about it, is that it incorporates some of the things you can do with old technology that you cannot do with a power point presentation. For instance, there is a screen shield that you can use to hide part of the screen, just as many teachers do on an overhead. You can also highlight and write on the presentation as if it were just written on a whiteboard. No more are the days where a lesson is lost in a teachers inability to draw a regular shape. The shape tool on Smart will convert your not so perfect shape into what it should look like. If you are like me, and cannot draw a circle to save their life, this is a relief.
The most exciting tool we learned about today was the ability to look at things that have already been created for smartboard users. This includes simulations, pictures, interactive games, and most exciting LESSON PLANS. For me, the thought of making lesson plans for all my classes 5 days a week for the rest of my career is a little daunting. To be able to look and see wat people have already created and be able to use it is amazing. I learned at an education conference that "if you're not stealing, you're not teaching effectively," smart technology allows to to do this with high quality resources. Smart exchange just may be my new best friend.
Maybe the other most important benefit of this software is that you don't actually have to have a smartboard to be able to use it. You can use the tools and resources place them in a presentation and project just as you would a powerpoint. This gives you more flexibility with what you can show your students. Although the use of the smartboard is great because students can interact more freely, the software can also be usefl for those without access. I thoroughly enjoyed learnign about this software and I think I will most likely use it in classroom settings to keep students engaged if nothing else.