Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh - SmartBoard

I got to play with my first SmartBoard today and it was just incredible. I had my 12th grade class sit in (this is their last week of school; graduation is in a week) and they kept jumping up to use it. It draws the students into the learning, even though all they were doing was writing words and drawing arrows--somehow it's not as exciting on the blackboard!

The excellent presenter who demonstrated the software figured out pretty quickly what I was looking for and showed me the features I needed to make my approach work. Now we need to decide between a portable unit with a separate projector or the installed unit that has the projector right above it. I'm leaning toward the latter, since you don't have to worry about your shadow blocking things and there's no wires to trip over on the floor. Any thoughts on this?

I'm also very intrigued by the Airliner wireless slate which allows me to draw and control the Smartboard from anywhere in the classroom. That really suits my teaching style--I'm a walk around type of teacher, and I was a bit concerned about having to be right there at the front all the time. Has anyone used this and can you tell me if it works well for you?

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