If you’ve had any experience using a smart board you’ll know that it isn’t as simple as switching it on and starting your lesson. You need to have an understanding of the capabilities of the interactive whiteboard, and it takes some practice to understand how best to use it. It isn’t like you have to learn to program a rocket however, if you have an understanding of how a computer works, you can use an interactive whiteboard, it just needs some practice. We know that once you learn what you’re doing you can add a lot of value to your lesson plan when using it, but we wanted to ask some teachers how they used their whiteboards to get some smart ideas for you.
Nicol – 4th grade teacher
What ages do you teach: I teach 4th grade (10-11 year).
How long have you been using an interactive whiteboard: This is my second year with a Promethean board.
What do you use your interactive whiteboard for: My interactive board takes the place of a chalk/white board. It is used to write notes, teach lessons, show videos… The program that came with our board is Active Inspire. I can use this to build flip charts and save these from year to year. I have been using Gynzy in place of Active Inspire when writing notes and teaching but I have not yet built any flip charts on Gynzy.
How often do you use your interactive whiteboard: Daily. At least 4 hours a day.
Any tips you can share with us about how to use a whiteboard: Learn a few tools at a time and master those before moving on. Ask questions of the more experienced users. Allow students to use the board daily.
Robin – 5th grade teacher
What ages do you teach: 5th grade
How long have you been using an interactive whiteboard: 3 years
What do you use your interactive whiteboard for: I use it to show videos, to show lessons I prepared earlier. I also use it for the kids to answer questions and hang out near it so that they feel more involved.
How often do you use your interactive whiteboard: All the time ☺
Any tips you can share with us about how to use a whiteboard: A smart board is a tool, and you have to make your use of it relevant to each lesson, there is no simple way to use if for everything. What is the goal for that lesson for using your whiteboard: showing, interaction, quizzes? Tailor your tool to your needs.
Melanie – K- 6 school tech specialist
What ages do you teach: I am a tech specialist at a K – 6 school kids ages 5 – 12
How long have you been using an interactive whiteboard: I have been using an interactive whiteboard for 6 years
What do you use your interactive whiteboard for: I use my board as a screen for videos, with sites like Gynzy I use it for whole group and small group activities and instruction and centers, I use it to demonstrate, I also use smart notebook lessons.
How often do you use your interactive whiteboard: I use it daily throughout the day
Any tips you can share with us about how to use a whiteboard: Practice activities first before trying with students! I don’t think I could teach without it!
The thing that I find interesting from all of these teachers is that they advocate knowing what to do before trying with kids. We cover the basics of how to use your smart board in this article, do you have any tips you’d like to share with us? Please let us know in the comments below.