The Innovative Educator put up a post with ’10 Reasons to Ditch the Board‘ that got me thinking a bit. This is my first year using a SmartBoard. And I truly have a love-hate relationship with it. When it works, I love it! When it doesn’t work, I want to rip it off the wall and throw it out the window. I joke with my class at the beginning of a lesson, asking aloud, “Alright, will it be a SmartBoard or a DumbBoard?” It seems to have trouble ‘synching’ with PowerPoint, such that there are times when I try to write and it won’t recognize the pens correctly. I’ve tried all that I know, and just never found a way to replicate when the errors happen. I need to keep troubleshooting.
So let me give you some context. I don’t – yet – have the students use the IWB all that much. So it’s not all that ‘interactive’ for my students. Not more so than my previous whiteboard/chalkboard/LCD Projector. But here’s where it’s a bit different for me. I use the pen features to solve problems on my PowerPoint slides (alright, I’m setting myself up here…be nice!) for my students. (Conversions, Stoichiometry, etc.) Then I save the PowerPoint and post it to my Moodle site. I’ve also used it to create some diagrams that will post right into a Word document which I can share as a PDF…say worked solutions to a Free Body Diagram for a physics class. Now I don’t think these are all that groundbreaking, as far as using technology goes. But it gives my students an opportunity to revisit my content, and that’s valuable in my opinion. To be honest, I’d rather have a Tablet PC of some sort than an IWB, as I could do all that I do with the IWB and even more! (Marking right on a lab report, for example.) But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be more ‘innovative’ with my IWB. I just haven’t gotten there yet.
And that leads me to something I put in my first blog post here. One reason I started this blog is to attempt to put some ideas out there and hold myself accountable to them. And while I don’t want to ditch my IWB, I definitely feel I can use it better.