Saturday, June 19, 2010

Smartboards Vs. Teachers

Interactive Whiteboard and Classroom Guru

While scouring Google to find something nice to say about smart boards, I slowly began to realize that there really isn't anything nice to say. However, I did find a blog (the link is posted above) that had some interesting pros/cons and a funny parody about the Microsoft Surface. This is the video for the "Smart Table" that seems alluring until you realize that only 3 kids can really fit at the table and being that they cost almost $10,00 a piece, they go from alluring to untouchable.

After reading Why Smartboards are a dumb initiative and Why I hate Interactive Whiteboards, my views on this device did not change. I have never been interested in smartboards. My high school pre-cal teacher used one and it had no outstanding effect because over half the class was failing and still falling asleep. I was very lucky that I didn't need another math credit. Another example would be my high school government teacher whose smartboard sat in the corner of the classroom collecting dust. This teacher had a powerful personality and a great attitude towards teaching so a smartboard was not needed (plus, it was more fun to watch him throw dry erase markers across the room when they ran out of ink).

The only pros to smartboards that come to mind are as follows: (1) they might capture attention for a limited period of time (disregard if you teach high school); (2)the students could come up with their own lessons to share with the class.

The moral of the story: The free software that Dr. Strange is sharing with us is (a)free and (b) more collaborative and interactive that an interactive white board that costs more money than most schools could think about having.

The Chipper Series and EDM 310 for Dummies

I thought these videos were great. While I was thinking about videos to make, I stole an idea from Eagle Nest Radio. It would be cool to "bring back" someone like Benjamin Franklin and teach him about technology. I would like to teach him how to blog and use Delicious because he had a lot of trouble remembering all of his facts when he wrote "The Autobiography".


  1. Jessica,

    I love your idea about bringing back Benjamin Franklin. That would be a very interesting video. You should definitely do it!

  2. I agree Nichole, your video idea is intriguing. Are you gonna do it?

    Regarding the smartboard / whiteboard controversy, you made a lot of great points on both sides. Excellent! My feeling is that they are great tools and they may not be the be all and end all for everyone or every class but they beat the dust out of a chalkboard. Think about this. Would a good carpenter framing a house use a hammer or a nail gun? The nail gun may cost a lot more up front but he will get 10 times the work done in a day. Does it make him less of a carpenter because he used a nail gun? Or, would he be smarter for using the more effective tool? Something to think about.

    Keep up the good work Nichole. SS

  3. Hello Nichole!
    I am still on the fence with the smartboards. You make some excellent points on how the smartboards are ineffective. I believe in high school they may not be as eye catching as the they would be in elementary classes.
    I also enjoyed the Eagle Nest Radio Podcasts as well. Great Post!