Monday, May 7, 2007

Mobile Verses Mounting...

This is a hot topic these days. When I facilitate SMARTboard workshops this is a common question I get, " Should we mount the board in a common location, in someone's room or purchase a mobile stand so that teachers can move the board from room to room?"

Teachers in my school find the mobile board a pain. They hate the hassle of moving it, hate having cords all over their classroom and then find once they start using the board they don't want to give it up to another teacher. Thus, they are not fans of the mobile board.

Many teachers I have worked with find that when the board is mounted in a central location such as a computer lab or multi-purpose room that the board is not used very often and or not to its full capabilities. When the board is mounted in this environment it seems it is just used as a glorified overhead projector. There is no point spending thousands of dollars to continue doing what you have always done!

Mounting the board for permant use in one teachers' classroom seems to get the most bang for your buck. However, the question then is how do you choose whose room to place it in? My suggestion is let the teachers convince you! Who is going above and beyond in the area of technology? Who is a lead teacher in this area who can assisst others? Just because it is mounted in one room doesn't mean it can't be shared with others.

What do you think? What is working or not working in your schools?

What Do I Do With Students Not Using the Board???

Here are a few ways to get all students involved with a lesson using the digital whiteboard.

1) When students are doing math equations on the digital whiteboard have students in their seats do the same question on paper to see if the person at the board is correct. Tell students at their seats they may have to hand in their work.

2) Practice using manipulatives on the digital whiteboard. Call students from their seats up to model how to perform a particular task. Once everyone understands what to do, give students at their seats their own manipulatives and continue calling students up to the board to demonstrate how they used the manipulatives in their seat. This is a great way to check for understanding since sometimes it is difficult to see what every student is doing at their desk.

3) Try doing a Brain Pop lesson and have one student act as “Vanna White” by pressing all the buttons for you. Or, call students up one at a time to complete the follow up quiz after watching a video. Or divide the class into two teams and watch two different Brain Pop videos on your current topic. After the video clips have each team do their own quiz. The team with the best score out of ten wins!

4) During Ed Compass activities invite all students up to the board to answer questions throughout each slide. Tell students, who's at bat, who’s on deck so they are ready to go and you are not wasting time waiting for students to get out of their seat and walk across the room.

5) One generic way to integrate all students is to:
A) Use the board to model
B) Call up a student to model and demonstrate understanding
C) Have students do practice questions at their seat while having other students do the same question at the board for struggling students to see, or to check their work.
D) At the end of a lesson have a student post all answers on the board
E) Save and print any lesson work for absent students or to review at a later date.