The not so Smartboard… by @primaryreflect

Shall I compare thee to a blackboard?

Thou were more useful and less dusty,
A shining glossy tool,
Upon which,
We were all thrust.
And now - over ten years on,
There are still those who shudder,
At the thought of orientation and ‘interactive’ preparation,
Leading to training and development need,
A hurdle that some still struggle to jump,
What went wrong?
Was it the walls, the ceilings, under-powered projectors,
Or were we truly seeing a vision of the future of teaching? Learning?
One touch surface at the front,
The font of all knowledge,
Or a mouse dressed up?
But sir, your handwriting isn’t neat on there…
I can’t show you that straight line, it keeps jumping again.
What I’d give for the old chalkboard back again…

This is a re-blog post originally posted by Adam Atkinson and published with kind permission.

The original post can be found here.

Read more posts by Adam by clicking here

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So at this moment I find that I am doubting the value and impact of interactive whiteboards in the primary classroom.

I wanted to believe, I did believe, I trained others, represented the LEA and led ‘Hands on Support’ and yet I know from looking around many classrooms that the much celebrated tool, heavily invested in, has had little measurable impact on learning for all children. There are, as with all new devices and technologies strategies that keen and resourceful teachers use very effectively, however, at such a high cost of investment these have had little impact on all pupils at once. In the new year I replaced my classroom Smartboard with a standard whiteboard at a fraction of the cost of an interactive model.

The projector and computer are still being used, and I have to admit that I have not missed the interactive board. Instead I have found that I have used an iPad to mirror the device screen more, and now use Google Slides as the base presentation tool to set up my lesson slides.

Using Google Slides instead of Smart Notebook has allowed me to share my slides with other year group partners further enabling a collaborative approach to lesson preparation. The ability to use the iPad within the session to make changes to the slides, and model effective work by importing pictures instantly has had a positive impact within our sessions.

I haven’t missed any of the features of the smart board or the software. I certainly don’t miss the orientation process. I do love being able to write normally again and have my writing appear where I intended it to.

Within our current environment of studded walls and suspended ceilings, which make up 90% of the buildings within our school, the long-term cost implication of replacing the interactive whiteboards with straight replacements is not in my vision for the future.

I am very happy with my current setup…but also eagerly anticipate having a good trial of newer touch panel displays; but the price has to be right when set against impact in learning.

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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