Update on the Bright-Shiny


November 12, 2010 by readlisaread

I challenged myself to come up with a SMARTboard lesson that would demonstrate all that is good about IWB.  I gave them a lesson in “Finding the main idea in Research”. Well, I’ll confess that the students certainly were more engaged in my presentation.  Last week, however, I gave them a similar lesson on “How to write a Discussion Post” , and had them read along as I presented my lesson, pushed out to all of their computers. I’m thinking that it is not just about the Bright-Shiny, it’s about doing things in a new way….or at least, new to them.  It’s one of the problems I have teaching in my room, actually.  Because 6 of the 7 blocks I teach are InfoTech, I am assigned to the Teaching Lab.  All good, except for the asinine way they design labs in this district.  Whoever determined  that a horseshoe, with the teacher station at the bottom of the “U”, was the optimum learning environment?  When I use the projector, they all have to twist sideways to see it, and the students at the back are so far away from me.  This becomes problematic in an academic block, and then add in wheeled chairs and 30 bodies, and we have some issues. It is, however, challenging me to not be complacent.  I am on my feet the whole block, and constantly throwing new things at them, trying to keep them engaged.

Which was part of what led to the SmartBoard lesson. In the main, they were interested, and even though we had moved to a new location, they didn’t completely fall apart, as would normally be the case with a room change.  Would their interest remain steady if they were looking at the SmartBoard every lesson?  I doubt it. Did the lesson improve their organization and approach to the follow-up activity?  Nope. Could I have done the lesson in a different medium and still has been as successful?  I’d have to say no on that– a paper/pencil version of the assignment would have been wrist-slittingly boring. A push to their computers or a screen share would have been almost as good, but, I will say the tools of the ‘Board, the ease of proximity and the instantaneous nature of moving information around would be hard to duplicate, and did, in this case, make a big difference to engagement.

So, for this experiment, I score:

Bright-Shiny: 1

Skeptic: 0


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