SMART Boards – interactive teaching and learning whiteboards
January 11th, 2011 by Monika Jankowska-Pacyna
A SMART Board is an interactive whiteboard connected to a computer that allows users to deliver dynamic and interactive lessons, navigate the internet, write notes in digital ink, and save work – all with the simple touch of a finger.
Introduced by a Canadian organization called SMART Technologies in 1991, over 1.8 million SMART Boards are now used worldwide in education, business, government and military settings.
Whiteboard and software
SMART Boards are available in different sizes and offer a variety of features. They can be used alone as a whiteboard that is connected to a computer to navigate websites, display pictures and videos, or even to draw on or make notes. But their ultimate power comes from the SMART Notebook learning software that expands the SMART Board’s capabilities, allowing users to create their own interactive lesson plans and activities or to utilize the SMART Exchange website. SMART Exchange is an online community and resource collection for educators, providing SMART Board users with more than 51,000 free digital resources, lesson plans and activities.
Read Peel District School Board gets SMART article to see how the staff at the Peel District School Board (PDSB)’s Literacy & Basic Skills program is embracing SMART Board technology and their students are achieving better learning outcomes.
Click here to explore case studies on how other organizations – from kindergarten classes to universities to private and non-profit groups to the military – have been benefiting from SMART Board technology.
Over the last few years, many literacy organizations have added SMART Boards to their classrooms as well.
At AlphaPlus, we installed a SMART Board in our Boardroom and we use it for meetings, note- taking, videoconferencing, and sometimes for fun! It is amazing to write on the whiteboard and then quickly erase the content with a swipe of a hand or to navigate through a website or document with a simple touch! Our SMART Board reminds us that technology can be interactive and exciting. In the future, we plan to integrate the Notebook software into our meetings and training as well.
If you are interested in testing a SMART Board, we invite you to visit AlphaPlus! We will be happy to share with you how a SMART Board works and give you a chance to “play” with it. If you are looking for a meeting space, you can use our Boardroom and SMART Board tools as well.
If your organization is already using a SMART Board, let us know. We hope to develop a list/database of literacy organizations and launch a SMART Board User Group to help facilitate support and information sharing in the field.
In the future we also plan to offer more information and specialized training in using SMART Boards and developing interactive activities. Stay tuned!
Check out this video to see how SMART Boards are used by teachers:
Explore some of the SMART Board features:
A wide range of informative and educational videos about SMART Boards can be found on the SMART Classrooms channel on YouTube or by searching YouTube for other SMART Board related videos.
Research indicates that interactive whiteboards increase student engagement, learner motivation and knowledge retention. The technology has been successful in reaching students with a variety of learning styles, including those with special needs.
Click here to find more information about research on the SMART Board’s impact on teaching and learning, motivation and satisfaction, mathematics and science, literacy and language, pedagogy and special education.
To learn more about SMART Boards, explore the training and professional development section of the SMART Technologies website. It offers information on upcoming events, on-site training, live online training and full training certification.
It is a good idea to register for SMART Learning Space as well. It will give you customized access to training and information on SMART Boards.
Finally, you may choose to subscribe to SMART publications to gain access to a wide range of newsletters and magazines related to SMART Boards and SMART technologies.
A general internet search will also provide you with a wide range of tools, articles and information about SMART Boards.
Here are some articles and links we thought you would find useful:
To get started with a SMART Board, you will need the interactive whiteboard, an LCD projector, and a computer with the Notebook software installed. In total, this will cost between two and five thousand dollars.
Explore an article on Alternatives to a Smart Board if you would like to search for other interactive whiteboard products. Also check out PolyVision ēno whiteboards: A great alternative to the SMART Board or The Wii as $99 SmartBoard for ideas.
If you use SMART Boards in your program, we would love to hear from you. How do you use them? What works for you? What are the challenges? Add your feedback in the comments below or send us an email and we will post it on our website.