Smartboards: how to use them correctly?
Have you seen a smartboard in a classroom and would you like to get started with it yourself? Then read on here.
What is a smartboard?
A smartboard is an interactive electronic board that you can use for various purposes. The smartboard is connected to your laptop or computer. As a result, it behaves as a display on the one hand and as an input device on the other. The board is touch-sensitive, which means that on the one hand you are less dependent on the laptop or computer and therefore more mobile, and on the other hand, you are more inclined to let students come to the board. In addition, you can easily switch between different programmes via the Smartboard.
You can find the classrooms with a smartboard via ‘advanced search’ in centauro.ugent.be.
Why do you use a smartboard?
A smartboard offers the possibility to promote interaction between the teacher, the student and the subject of the class. You can achieve this by, for example:
- to make notes (or have them made) in a PowerPoint presentation.
- play videos while writing on the screen.
- switch between different programmes.
- save notes made during the lesson in Worddocs, Excel sheets, PPT, etc.
Smartboards are an added value when giving demonstrations, asking questions, elaborating issues, conducting class discussions, discussing the progress of group work and giving (peer) feedback.
How do you use a smart board?
Before the lesson
Teachers must be given and take sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the smartboard if they are to be successful with it. Therefore, practice using the smartboard before integrating it into your lessons.
BE ON TIME
Make sure you get to the room early enough. This way you can take the time to connect everything, calibrate the board, put documents on the desktop or set the correct height of the board.
Adjust the font of your PowerPoint, Word document, Excel sheet, etc. so that everything is also readable in the back of the room. You can also easily enlarge or reduce web pages with the CTRL key and the + or – button. F11 makes a window full size.
KEEP STUDENTS’ ATTENTION
A smartboard has a number of tools that can help you focus the students’ attention on specific matters. For example, you can focus attention on details of a photo with the ‘floodlight’. Use these tools thoughtfully so that you maintain the students’ attention throughout the lesson.
DO NOT FORGET THE MAIN TOPIC
A smartboard allows for more interaction and discussion during the lesson. The greater variety and the dynamic use of resources also provide more pleasure for both students and the teacher. Please note! Students should not lose sight of the common thread of the lesson. Use an overview slide as a tool.
ACTIVATE THE STUDENTS
If you want to use the smartboard efficiently, both you as a teacher and the student must use it. Have students point out elements on the board or create a summary outline of the lesson together.
Have you mastered the basics of the smartboard? Explore the Notebook programme that comes standard with the smartboard has a number of useful tools, such as already existing lessons, a photo database, etc. Notebook 11.4 is the latest free version and can be downloaded here (.exe file). During the installation you have to uncheck ‘search for newer software’, because Notebook 2014 is not free. If prompted, you can activate Notebook 11.4 with the code: NB-SECAC-AIRQ5-HWPWE-AKAII.