The familiar image of a teacher at the blackboard, piece of chalk in hand, will eventually be just a memory in the classroom of the future thanks to the creation of the SMART Board.
Developed by the Calgary-based firm Smart Technologies Inc., SMART Board is an interactive whiteboard that is connected to a computer and projector. Not only does it display what is on the teacher's computer screen, it allows the teacher or students to interact with the program being taught. Grade 7 and 8 science teacher, Mr. Racioppo, explains the idea behind the interactive concept is to energize presentations and motivate students to learn.
"I'm big on technology," he said. "But not for technology's sake but to enhance the learning experience. "The high-tech SMART Boards have so much more potential than just a means of sharing written information," Mr. Racioppo explained. "By using software with the Smart board, students can see visuals of what they're studying within seconds". It creates teachable moments that didn't exist before."
SMART Board technology has been used with all Grade 1 - 8 classes in the computer lab last term. This new technology enables lessons to be taught from the front of the classroom where concepts can be clearly demonstrated. Once the concept is introduced, a student is invited to perform it on the whiteboard.
Most recently, a SMART Board was installed in a totally different environment - the art room. Art teacher, Mr.Coleman noted students will be able to use it for presentations, art appreciation, compare and contrast discussions, interactive class art history seminars, drawings, analysis and more.
"The work that I draw on the board can be saved and shown to the next class. Access to the Internet directly from the board, pictures of artwork, and my lessons or demonstrations are now larger than life." By the end of the 2006/2007 school year our goal is to have a SMART Board in each Grade 7 & 8 classroom.