More musings of IWB

Love when students teach me something. I have to be honest with you, right now I’m feeling like I’m treading water and the water is winning. Having a too much to do & too little time week. Not only are deadlines killing me but things just keep coming up right & left. But on a day like today when at any moment I could have had a break down, I enjoyed my students. Classes were fun and that kept me energized. Kept me laughing. The best part kept me thinking. I selfishly needed that time to “hang out” with the students as well as learning.

At one time we got way off subject and one of the students asked how I felt about the IWB being lowered (before yesterday the top of board was over 6 ft from the ground). I told them I was glad and asked why would I not be. They were telling me that other teachers said it was too low for people in back to see or they had to bend over. I told the kids that those reasons made sense but then said “but it has to be low because it is for you to use.” Before I could finish that sentence those silly kids erupted into cheers. No kidding. That was my “duh” moment. The kids want to use technology. They want to be in charge of their learning.

I have had many doubts over the value of these IWB (read post here and here) Finally I am seeing there are benefits to them. The kids need to use them for the purpose of interaction. It is NOT a $4000 projector. Yes I understand that money could have been spend on other technologies but it wasn’t. So now that technology needs to be used correctly. It needs to be interactive. It needs to be used by the kids. They must be the ones interacting!!

I’m not writing this to bash my coworkers. It has taken me months to figure out best practices for this technology and this is all new to them. I do worry because the professional development opportunities and tech integration support is not there. It’s not their fault. I am writing this just as a reminder what the role of not only IWB but all technology has in the classroom. It is there to support learning. It is there to cause students to think as well as create.

A

***To those leaving comments (which is always welcome): If there is no “anti-spam” word when leaving a comment, click “change users” next to the comment box. I will show the :anti-spam” word! I do not understand why it does this.***

6 Comments Add yours

  1. ktenkely says:

    Good lesson to learn, and obviously one that the kids wish every teacher would learn. The technology is there for the students, if it isn’t being used that way it is time to change the way the classroom works. To use it as a projector is a huge waste of money!

  2. Amanda,

    I’m glad your students helped you laugh. Sometimes we need that!

    As for the IWB, I can’t wait to hear of ways you invite the kids to use the technology. I myself was given an IWB w/out a choice and I have been trying my best to think of lessons where we’ll use it together, but in a lab students use the computers, so the board seems extraneous.

    Please blog about some IWB successes!

  3. Sean R. says:

    Is it OK that I have a serious teacher-crush on you? You ROCK! I’m hopeful that my students will have their hands on an IWB in our class very soon. Until then, we’re using a tech cart (pc, doc cam, projector – on wheels) that I built and a Web 2.0 app called Dabbleboard. It’s so fun to bring interactivity to a lesson and see the students enjoying the learning process. Thanks for your blog.

  4. seyfert6 says:

    That’s terrific! My sixth grade students still get excited when using the Smart Board. Give them time to use and they will be showing tricks you may not already know.

  5. Lori Sabo says:

    I teach first and we love, love, love our IWB. I had district office guests who almost fell over when a first grader, leading a part of the math lesson, hit the drop down menu, clicked order, clicked bring to front, and continued on with the lesson. 🙂

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