Hi all,

Our district has put forth a great initiative where if a teacher signs up for training this summer and continues to participate in group work/share outs through out the year, they receive a Smartboard for their classroom. Great, right? We had a mass response, 114 teachers. Now, it is our job to provide this training. We will be doing 2 seperate sessions, one K-5, the other 7-12. We have an even 57 people per group. We will have them for 2 days, 10 hours total. We don't want this to be a "tool" lesson, rather a bigger technology initiative. We are basing it on lesson planning with technology more than "smart" training. The smartboard is merely the delivery method. There are 4 of us doing the initial planning and will have other experienced smartboard users available for break out sessions throughout the 2 days.

I'm looking for suggestions from this great group of educators as to what you would be sure teachers knew walking into the first day of school with this equipment mounted in the room. We already have a list, but I'm curious to see how it matches up with what you all suggest here. Looking more for techniques, rather than how to orient, what each tool in Notebook Software does etc...Let me have it!


Tags: iboards, pd, smartboards, training

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I feel the critical component that teachers with SmartBoards should know is not how to present a lesson with the SmartBoard but how to get the students to interact with the lesson using the SmartBoard. When a teacher first gets a SB, there should be a shift in presentational style. The teacher needs to prepare the lesson, but the students should be at the board moving and manipulating the content more than the teacher does.

The basics that students and teachers should learn about the SmartBoard are:
1) how to write on the board without resting your hand to steady yourself.
2) how to convert handwriting to text
3) how to manipulate text and pictures by making them grow or shrink and moving them to different locations
4) how to capture non-Notebook pages and bring them into a Notebook file (picture, worksheet, etc. using the camera.
5) how to print out the pages for students who need a hard copy.

There are other things I feel are important to know but I think these 5 are the very basic skills that all SmartBoard users should have. I'm looking forward to seeing other people's ideas.

We just got 5 Smartboards for our school~ the first. None of us have ever used them in a classroom; only one of us has even seen them used! So thank you for the question~ we need all the help we can get and if we come up with anything useful we'll post it

Thank you!

Thesys International implemented a similar program 2 years ago by using “Tiger Teams”. We assumed that teachers knew nothing about the technology from the beginning and were okay with it. Instead, we looked for teachers who are innovators by their personality and asked them to self-select in to the process (sounds like you have gotten a similar result). Then during the summer, this small select group of teachers met for 4 hours 1 day per week for 5 weeks. Each week had a defined set of objectives going from initial training to developing digital lessons for use in the classroom at the start of the next year. We brought in summer school students and had them give feedback on lessons developed. Teachers presented the lessons they developed to each other and received feedback on both the content and the presentation.

We then continued the process in subsequent professional development sessions during the school year and the following summers. These sessions expanded both the number of teachers involved and development of digital lessons. Today all the classrooms have smart boards in use by teachers/students and there is an extensive library of digital lessons available for a shared use.

Getting them to do hands-on activities is crucial in my opinion. You do obviously have to teach them all the tools and pens etc., but give them tasks to complete that forces them to use the tools they have learned about and reinforces their use in a way that is relevant to them and their teaching.


Make the tasks relevant and something that they could perhaps take and use in their classrooms. If you can show them a tool like the magic pen, and then give 4 or 5 practical examples of how to use it in the class, all the better. Repeat with the other tools.


I think it is also important for them just to have time to explore and play. When you first use it, the lesson activity toolkit and the gallery is a huge resource to get your head around. Time to explore that and see exactly what is in there is time well spent. Show them some things like timers, dice, etc, sorting games and so forth, but let them find the rest.


Finally, make them share what they have learned with their peers. This can be in the form of a lesson they have made, or just through some tools they have found, or a way that they would want to use them in their classroom. Teachers are inspired by things that their peers do, and sometimes it is better coming from them than you.


These are the kinds of things that I do when I do SMART training with my district. I base my instruction off the Level 1 and Level 2 SMART training courses, but adapt it to be more classroom focused.


(By the way, if you want the level 1 and 2 training documents from SMART, PM me and I will get you a link to download them.)



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