Last night I presented a webinar on using Smartboard and the Smartboard software (Smart Notebook) in an adult ESL classroom, and although I received some positive feedback, I wasn’t happy with it. I had a few tech glitches, lost my mic at one point for about 30 seconds, and then my son forgot I was in a live webinar, and proceeded to the kitchen to make a sandwhich… loudly. I muted myself and then shouted “LIVE webinar going on!!!” Then, for a split second, I wondered if the mute button was really working, given that the tech that night had so far been a bit wonky.
I will record it again, myself. I’ve been collecting my webinars and uploading them to my webpage at weebly.
I wanted to introduce SAMR to my ESL peers, because it’s a model/continuum that has resonance and reflects how I feel about using technology in the classroom. This, I did, but not as well as I wanted to. So I’ll outline my points here:
Smartboard is a tool that can be used in any number of ways – it all depends on the instructor.
(NOTE: the picture above isn’t me!)
A Smartboard can simply be used as a blackboard, whiteboard or screen, with no change in how the classroom material is being developed. Instead of picking up a piece of chalk, the instructor or learner writes on the Smartboard. Instead of wheeling in a clunky media cart and reaching up into the rafters to deploy a film screen older than I am, just use the Smartboard as the projection screen for movies, or PowerPoints.
Once you start getting comfortable with SmartBoard, then you begin to realize the myriad of uses it has. But you begin slowly, and now you learn how to upload other document types (Word, PPT, PDF) into Smart Notebook so that exercises can be annotated, or taken up.
Now you begin to realize that you don’t need to spend hours online searching through interactive online games for your learners; you can create SCORM-like materials yourself without needing to be an IT professional with a specialty in Instructional Design. By exploring and modifying existing templates in Smart Notebook, you can now produce material that is immediately relevant to your learners.
This is the transformation end of the tech continuum. How is the tech changing your delivery? Is its use meaningful and mind expanding? Can you do things with the tech that you couldn’t do without it? With a Smartboard, I’d argue that yes, you can. At the very least, all of your class notes can be exported as a PDF, and uploaded to a class website. Enabling learners to access class notes and materials hands control of the learning experience over to the students. Of course, not all have access to the internet, or a computer for that matter, but those that do have access, or that can get to a library, will now be able to collect and review classroom material on their own time. Perhaps they were ill for a day or two; now they can catch up.
For those that do not have digital access, or lack the know-how to navigate the web to locate the teacher site and download the files, the teacher could print off the Smart Notebook file pages, like a PPT, in slide-format to save paper.
So that’s what I wanted to convey last night, but I remember looking at my slides, realizing that I had 189 of them, and an hour to deliver it in. I rushed through it. So, I extend my apologies to the patient Tutela members who attended, and to the ones who will watch it later! To really get a good grasp of this tech, ideally, I’d like to present it in a lab, with an actual Smartboard in front of me.
To be fair, using the BBB webinar platform, I’m able to interact and reach members across Canada, members who would not realistically all be able to attend a live conference. Hmm, a piece of tech that’s changing how PD is delivered… Kind of transformative, don’t you think?