Everyone remembers TV’s MacGyver, the secret agent who used creativity instead of high-tech tools to outsmart his enemies. MacGyver relied on brain power to solve problems, and this is a critical skill for teachers. Here are five ways you can become the MacGyver of smart boards.

Get Results with Simple Tools

MacGyver could find a solution to any problem with the simplest of tools. Your smart board is a flexible tool, and you can manipulate it in many ways to meet your students’ needs. Differentiate instruction with interactive activities. Appeal to various learning styles by integrating video, audio and kinesthetic elements into your lessons. Collaborate with other educators through online forums.

Stay Cool Under Pressure

MacGyver always kept his cool and rationally thought through problems to find solutions. Your IWB gives you the same edge. If a student asks an unexpected question, turn it into a teachable moment by doing some online research and projecting your process on the whiteboard.

Be the “Go To” Person

High-ranking officials always asked for MacGyver because they knew that he was a skilled strategist. Keep your skills sharp by continuing to learn about applications for your interactive whiteboard. Avail yourself of trainings and collaborative online communities to continue to learn about how you can enhance your classroom environment with your interactive whiteboard.

Be Inspired by Your Students

MacGyver often found himself in a situation where he needed the help of an unmotivated character, and he had to persevere to find ways to encourage that person to work with him. In the end, that person always did something to impress and inspire MacGyver. Research shows that students are more engaged when working collaboratively on the IWB, so allow your students’ interests, readiness skills and prior learning guide you in finding activities for them. They’ll be more motivated to stick with a problem, and you’ll be inspired by their success.

Brains Trump Budget

MacGyver’s enemies always had the latest high-tech gadgets, but MacGyver only had his intellect. Don’t fret if your district is tightening its belt and can’t afford the latest accessories or software. There are lots of free resources that allow you and your students to interact with content and connect with other students and teachers on your IWB.

High-tech tools and gadgets don’t make good teachers. Rather, good teaching is about ideas and the creative application of them. MacGyver understood this, and you probably do too. How are you like the MacGyver of smart boards?