SMART Boards are on the rise across the nation and around the world. They’re popping up in classrooms, businesses, and government offices to improve the way we learn, communicate, and collaborate. However, when any new form of technology enters the scene, it inevitably brings with it questions, doubts, and even misconceptions. The SMART Board is no exception. Take a look at this collection of common SMART Board Myths debunked and put your reservations to rest.
1) SMART Boards are Too Expensive
Believe it or not, this product was made with your budget in mind, especially with the release of the 400 series in September of 2011. Made up of the SMART Board 480 interactive whiteboard and the SMART Board 480iv interactive whiteboard system accompanied by the SMART v25 projector, the 400 series runs from about $1,299 to $2,599. That said there are certainly ways to reduce that price tag even further. SMART offers a series of online grant funding opportunities not to mention step-by-step instructions about how to kick off fundraising at your school or place of business to make your interactive technology vision come to life.
2) SMART Boards Eliminate the Role of the Teacher
SMART Boards allow teachers to be more mobile and attentive while teaching large groups but certainly does not replace educators by any means. SMART Boards are a teaching aid; they are not a substitute for poor teaching and are only as strong as their operators. SMART Boards utilize multimedia resources, visuals and interactive materials to help bring concepts to life and reach students who may struggle with learning disabilities or visual and hearing impairments. Teachers remain vital to making material relevant, organizing content, and facilitating lessons. SMART Boards simply make it all the more effective.
3) SMART Boards are Just Fancy White Boards
SMART Boards are much more than white boards we plug in. They allow us to do instead of just watch explore a world beyond the four walls of the classroom or office and revolutionize the way we share information. The SMART Notebook Gallery is chock-full of images and other virtual manipulatives that can be used to create visual representations, making the abstract more concrete. Take the study of mathematics for example, an area of study prone to perplexing. SMART technology allows participants to act out equations, animate properties, and turn data into graphs in an instant. SMART Boards take learning and understanding far beyond the reaches of dry erase and chalkboards!
4) SMART Boards Need to Be Replaced Every Few Years
Lucky for you, your SMART Board is built to last. SMART products are reliable, durable, and all hardware receives a full five -year warranty upon registration which covers any repair and replacement needs you could ever need. Free, online upgrades are available in addition to an ever- growing library of lesson materials so there’s no need to make additional purchases to keep your product up and running at full capacity. Customers report purchasing Smart Boards that last well over ten and even fifteen years.
5) SMART Boards are Too Advanced for the Age Group I Teach
Today, children of all ages rely on and expect technology to play a huge role in both playtime and education. SMART Boards allow teachers to better demonstrate concepts, encourage teamwork, and get even the youngest of students involved and excited about learning. Like any child-friendly tool, SMART Boards are easy to maintain and clean. SMART Boards can reach students of all abilities, learning styles, and strengths by providing visual, audio, as well as tactile stimulation and can be used by children who have yet to fully develop their motor skills. Teachers rave about results and responses in classrooms of children as young as Kindergarten.
6) It’s only a Matter of Time before SMART Board Technology Becomes Obsolete
Not so! The first SMART Board was released in 1991-that’s a whole 23 years ago and people are still discovering this product for the first time or finding new ways to integrate SMART Boards into almost any setting. With free upgrades and endless online perks, your purchase will not only appreciate in value over the years but never fall out of fashion. To date, there are over 65, 000 high quality, peer reviewed digital resources available on the Smart Exchange website that includes Smart Notebook lessons in 23 different languages, question sets for SMART Response interactive response systems, useful links, and various multimedia content for educators. You can easily upload your own favorite lesson plans to share with friends and colleagues. As SMART Board’s uses continue to expand, you can stay in the know and learn how to take full advantage of your SMART Board with courses in education, business, and technical training available on the SMART website. It is truly a product whose function and capabilities improve with age.
7) SMART Boards Allow Students to Zone Out
Sure, a rectangular SMART Board installation might look like a television screen but it engages students like in-class movies never could. SMART Boards create lessons that are more dynamic, more student-centered, and engaging overall. Through the SMART Document Camera, moving objects, graphing calculators, museum exhibits, exotic animals and more enter the classroom. Experiences that would otherwise be too expensive, too dangerous, or simply impossible become an in-class reality. Students aren’t just talking and listening but seeing and doing with the help of SMART Boards making for improved motivation and interest in material. As the workforce begins to rely on technology more and more, students can be assured their learning is relevant and a real source of preparation for their future career.
8) SMART Boards Have No Place in an Art Class
SMART Boards and art might not be the most likely pairing, but this technology brings new possibilities to the art room irrespective of available materials, student age, or time constraints. Art becomes interactive with the help of the Smart Board ArtRage tool. This whiteboard transforms into a canvas where students can experiment with brush strokes, play with color palettes, add text to create stories, and share their digital creations with ease.
9) SMART Boards Discourage Interaction
Whether based in an elementary school classroom, college lecture hall, or boardroom SMART Boards do anything but isolate. On the contrary, SMART Boards cultivate a sense of community and create a shared learning experience among classmates and co-workers. The SMART website even offers a series of collaborative learning and meeting pro software to keep everyone engaged and working as a team. Check out creative group games for the youngsters in addition to solutions for academic areas were teamwork is key like STEM and ESOL.
10) SMART Boards Use Too Much Energy
It cannot be denied that SMART Boards and projectors require electricity to run. However, what many don’t know is that some SMART products like the SMART UF70 Projector model is energy efficient. Even better, SMART Boards have significantly helped reduce copying needs and the use of paper handouts in classrooms earning SMART the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Gold certification in 2011. To reduce wattage, simply shut down and unplug SMART Boards when they’re not in use during lunch breaks and vacations!