Friday, March 28, 2014

Are SmartBoards really smarter?

Photo retrieved from kylejsmith's Flickr
For my Creating Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments course, one of our assignments was to create a FlipChart presentation using a software called ActivInspire. I've never in my LIFE used any type of software associated with SmartBoards or Promethean Boards, so it was a struggle. It was a group project, thank goodness, because it took me most of the work-time trying to wrap my mind around the purpose of a Promethean Board. We're almost done with the project and to be honest, I'm still not sure how it all works. I haven't seen any SmartBoards or Promethean Boards being used in any of my field experience so far, and my former high school didn't have that technology yet, so I'm clueless. I'm hoping our project will come together and do the job.

All in all, I think I hate this project. I've been excited about a lot of other topics and themes of my technology courses, so I think it's fair that I can hate one. This is it! From my understanding of the software, I think that FlipCharts and Promethean Boards are simply using technology for the purpose of using technology. I don't think it really aids in any learning for the students unless you're really, really good at creating FlipCharts. 

Our FlipChart project was intended to aid our Project-Based Learning theme about American Identity. I'm working with a group of English majors (because apparently English and Spanish are similar majors...haha!) and none of us really had any idea what we were doing. Through our FlipChart presentation we have a Venn Diagram, a quiz, a video, and a blog prompt. To me, it seems like a PowerPoint Presentation that you can interact with. In my opinion, I think I could create the same lesson without using a Promethean Board that would be equally as cool and engaging for my students. How do would you use a SmartBoard or Promethean board to boost student learning?

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