Interactive SMARTBoard activities give teachers an impressive array of tools to keep their students engaged and learning. Students have more distractions than ever and it falls to educators to push those distractions out of the way and ensure their pupils are growing as thinkers. It’s a definite challenge, and one that has to be solved on a daily basis, but interactive A/V technology can give teachers and schools a major advantage in the fight for students’ attention. Such technology engages young students on a level that they are familiar with, and with games, themes and attention grabbing visual techniques, keeping students focused will no longer be a struggle.
What kinds of SMARTBoard activities can improve the classroom experience?
Software and programs designed for educators give interactive displays their power, and SMART has one of the most comprehensive software suites available to educators. Four primary programs make up the suite, and include the following:
- Notebook – Notebook is the foundation, allowing educators to build lesson plans using any media that they produce or can find online. With Notebook, teachers can create a lesson that is visually engaging and infinitely customizable. For example, a teacher might grab a map of Europe online and add labels where necessary for students to fill in during class. Or, for younger students, a teacher might embed videos of various animals to help students identify the differences between mammals, reptiles and amphibians. These are just two basic examples, and they can be executed in a matter of minutes, allowing teachers to maximize their time and focus on all of their educating duties.
- Lab – Lab offers a collection of prebuilt themes and SMARTBoard activities that can be adjusted as needed by the teacher. For instance, Super Sort challenges students to divide a set of items into two categories, such as animals and plants, odds and evens or countries and cities. There are many such games as these, and because they are prebuilt, they take less than five minutes to set up and can form the backbone of a daily lesson plan.
- Response – Response allows educators to verify that their lessons are making an impact. Specifically, teachers can rapidly craft questions that students answer from their own devices. The entire process takes less than a couple minutes and gives teachers insight into what parts of the lesson are being received well, and what needs further emphasis. It’s the kind of immediate feedback that teachers have always wanted, and it’s so intuitive that no training is necessary to use Response.
- Amp – Amp utilizes Google Apps for Education to take the learning experience online. With Amp, an educator can establish an online space for their students and offer a space for students to collaborate on a subject. For example, a teacher might focus the lesson on the rainforest, pulling images, videos and their own Notebook lessons together to create a cohesive framework. Students can contribute to this framework and explore the subject at home to further their understanding. Also, educators can see each student’s contributions, so it’s clear to see who needs more guidance and who is excelling.
Every new generation is more and more comfortable with modern technology, and with interactive games and lesson plans, this interest can be leveraged into a meaningful educational experience.