Thursday, June 17, 2010

Post 5

SMARTboards are Dumb vs. SMARTboards are Smart

The two articles I read about SMARTboards being a useless waste of technology and money surprised me. Of course, I've never taught in a classroom at all, so I don't know firsthand how helpful smartboards are but, I know teachers who use them and love them.

The critiques made some sense about there being other, cheaper ways of doing everything a smartboard does. Smartboards are very expensive and they take up a lot of room. I don't think these facts are enough to make smartboards completely evil.

I think if a teacher is not technologically literate, but is willing to use a smartboard, then the money is worth it. I think teachers are less intimidated by interactive boards and they may be more willing to use one in their classrooms. However, I can understand the argument that the teacher could do the same lessons on a regular whiteboard with an overhead projector. It seems like from what I read, in this review of the smartboard, the students enjoy using the smartboard more. That could be because it's something different from what they normally use, or because it really does help them learn lessons better than a normal whiteboard.

If a teacher can use the smartboard to his or her best ability and they continue to try to find new ways to teach with it, then I think it's worth the money spent. If a teacher only uses it as a replacement for a chalkboard, then I agree that smartboards are dumb.

This blog I found had a lot of helpful tips for using the smartboard.

EDM 310 for Dummies

This was a great video to watch. I wish the book were real!I liked their idea for the video and the way they presented it like an infomercial.

I like the approach of the commercial for any kind of how to succeed at South or in college. Right now, making an awareness video about the oil spill in the Gulf would actually be a good, helpful thing to do. Even if it didn't turn out very professional, I think it would be something that people would watch because it is an important issue right now.


  1. Tyler,

    I think an awareness video is a great idea. I realized that more people are willing to watch videos than read something. Dr. Strange also loves it when his students are creative. I definitely think you should consider researching more about the spill and awareness, and you should put together a movie about it!

  2. Hi Tyler,

    I really like your title. Surprisingly, I found myself on the "SMARTboards are Dumb" side of the fence. Although many of the teachers I have worked with make good use of their SMARTboards, and freely boast of their handiness, I can't see investing that much money into a piece of equipment, that like all other technology-- is not dependable. Each of the classrooms that I have seen use it spend a considerable amount of time configuring this or that and struggling with cables and "markers". Most importantly, it is not conducive for student accessibility. What I mean by this (mind you its based on observation-- not application) is that teachers are still at the front controlling the technology, and students are still in their desks (hopefully) watching.

    This may be a stretch, but based on the raves that I have heards from teachers about SMARTboards, I would guess that the SMARTBOARD as a tool is not what they are excited about-- I think the are excited to finally be making any sort of stride towards updating the classroom experience. SMARTboards are fashionable, but personally, I will wait until a better trend comes along.

    I do, however, wish to make use of a projector connected to my computer so that I can expand my resources via sharing things on,, TED, blogs, etc. And of course, I will find ways for my students to publish their works online and respond to others works so they can see how connected they can be with the world. All of these things can be done without the SMARTboard.

    Good post, Tyler. I will definitely explore your blog link to see if I should switch arguments!

  3. I will repeat what I wrote for James Marshall since it also applies to you:
    Way to go! It is always good to take a look at both sides of an issue as you have done. I am not sure that you are correct that these two skeptics are skeptics because of lack of use. Rather it is their teaching philosophies that form their concerns. SMARTBoards most often become ways for teachers to use "canned" programs that often reduce the possibilities for teacher and student creativity. But anything that engages the student is good. Kelly Hines says they should be used as "student tools" not "teacher tools." I think the money would be better spent giving the students their own tools to use in and out of school. But they are in Baldwin and Mobile schools so our task is now to figure out how they can be used most effectively and creatively. And you are part of that process!

    Your movie idea: A good topic but you would have to reduce its scope considerably. Maybe 5 Lessons From ... or something like that. Think about it for a final project!

  4. What did you think of The Chipper Series? What ideas did it give you for a final project?

  5. I'm having problems viewing the page with The Chipper Series.

    Thanks for all the comments! Its great having so many points of view (point of views?) to listen to. Sometimes it makes me rethink what I'm writing.