Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

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Sharing with SMARTboard

Well, it has been a quite a challenge, but I finally have my SmartBoard, which was purchased through the E2T2 grant, up and running in my class. All year long my students have been hearing about this wonderful invention that we were going to get in our classroom. And then, since the middle of November, the board has been mounted in my room, but was not ready due to the need of careful orchestration between, electricians, maintenance and technicians. At the beginning of January, we finally put all the pieces together and we were ready to go. THEN I was called for jury duty and spent a week on the trial. So, this week, my students and I have been having a great time exploring all that the board can do.

A SMARTboard has a touch-sensitive display that connects to your computer and digital projector to show your computer image. You can then control computer applications directly from the display, write notes in digital ink and save your work to share later. This is an incredible tool for teachers.

In preparation for my spiffy new SMARTboard, I have been researching resources to help me use this tool effectively. There are few sights that I have found very helpful. is a weekly podcast about using SMARTboards. The podcasts are fun and informative and they often provide helpful links and downloadable resources. is another very helpful site with lots of great ideas and resources. In addition they have a weekly video tutorial. You can find downloadable files and lesson plans.

On the SMART technologies site you can find tutorials and lots of teacher created lessons.

31 Tips and Tricks for using the SmartBoard

Also on the SMART site, they have some free software to download. There is a spelling game, and number cruncher and music editing.

I have a few other cool tools that enhance the board even more. With my eInstruction Classroom Performance System (clickers) I can write questions on the SMARTboard and have students respond using their clickers. Everyone participates and I know immediately if students are understanding the material.

Another SMART product is the Airliner. The Airliner is a wireless graphics tablet. With this tablet, students can not only interact at the whiteboard, they can pass the tablet around the class and respond in the same way they can from the front of the room. This also gives me the opportunity to teach and model from any spot in the room.

As I learn to use this remarkable tool, I will share what I have learned. If you have any sites or tips you would like to include please be sure to comment.

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