In this week class, our teacher talked about the Smartboard as a teaching tool. My personal definition of a tool is something that you can chose to use or not depending on a situation and personal preferences. In 2011 the liberal government announced an investment of 240 million dollars to equip every class of primary and highschool in the province of Québec. No formal studies had been made to know the efficiency of a Smartboard equipped classroom or to justified the need of it. This is an important sum of money that could have been invested in pedagogy, which Quebec’s schools really need, rather then material, this is what Chantal Longpré president of la Fédération québécoise des directions d’établissements d’enseignement stated in this article. Another popular opinion is that teachers are not adequately formed for this technology and that they only use it as a 3458$ fancy blackboard. This leads me to my opinion on the subject: we, as teachers or future teachers, must show how fantastic interactive white boards are pedagogically speaking now that they are here.
They are called interactive white board, if that doesn’t ring a bell as its user there is a problem. Our job as teachers is to motivate kids to learn throught interactions and this is exactly what the smartboard is doing. As teachers, the Smartboard allows us to use a ton of tools that we couldn’t normally use. The most useful tool that the smartboard brings to the class is the internet gateway. Internet access means the acces to the world wide knowledge on our fingertips, mixed with a smartboard and in the hands of a good teacher this knowledge becomes the class’s.
Especially in an ESL classroom, visual reference is really important. The interactiveness of the Smartboard makes it really easy to add visual support to any lessons. For example, in my practicuum it ofte happens that students don’t know the meaning of a particular word or that my assosiated teacher want to give an example, with a smartboard he is able to show directly an image of the concept and it’s a pleasure to hear the students understanding alltogheter with an “Aaaaaaah!”. This is the most simple example of the interaction possibility a smartboard gives, it is quick and precise.
Another example to show how to use a smartboard interactively is by using school material available on the web. The number of material available is astronomic and the smartboard gives it all in the hands of the teacher. This week, I’m going to show you an example of this phenomenon. This site is specially made to help students learn grammar through interactive Quizz and challenge. It is perfect to evaluate the understanding of students after a lesson. The lessons covered on this site are primerly for primary students as the games are not that hard. The games cover numbers, colors, jobs, synonyms, antonyms, verb tenses, time, food, etc, in other words basic stuff. The importance is making learning as interactive and motivating as possible. Like it is explained further on this site humans learn faster when the target learning is mixed with gaming then traditional teaching.
In teaching, motivation is the key and interactive white boards can help obtain it if well used.