Smart Boards in the Classroom

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1 Smart Boards in the Classroom Maria Vasanelli, Superintendent of Education and former principal of St. John Bosco School Durham Catholic District School Board

2 MISA Project: Smartboards in the Classroom School: St. John Bosco Catholic School Durham Catholic District Schoolboard Lead: Maria Vasanelli, Superintendent of Education and former principal of St. John Bosco School Leading Question Does having a Smartboard in the classroom impact on student engagement? A Smartboard was installed in all grade 3, 6, 7, and 8 classrooms. Teachers were inserviced on the use of the technology and asked to use them as a tool for teaching. The teachers embraced the technology even the not so technical people bought into the use of Smartboards. This was due to their colleague s enthusiasm and the way students responded to having the Smartboard. ****the following attachments are evaluation of the Smartboard as a tool for learning in their classrooms and the engagement piece of students. ****an additional attachment is an article from the Toronto Star that supports technology in the classroom. In conclusion, technology in the classroom not only engages students but it is the way learning should happen in the 21 st century.

3 ST. JOHN BOSCO CATHOLIC SCHOOL GRADE: 3 STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND PRODUCTIVITY WHEN USING SMARTBOARDS IN THE CLASSROOM 1. How often is the Smartboard used throughout the school day on average? (%) 50% 2. What areas of the curriculum (or subjects/topics) is the Smartboard used more? Mathematics, Social Studies, Language, Science 3. How often is the Smartboard used in an interactive way (students are active participants)? (%) 25% 4. In your professional opinion, are students more engaged in the learning process when the Smartboard is being used? Very engaged especially the boys. I organize my lesson in a way that will engage the children. I constantly revisit concepts by reviewing the slides before starting a new lesson. Yes Having the Smartboard mounted lower allows for my student to use the Smartboard during centres. They are able to actively use the board and complete interactive activities without the teacher.

4 ST. JOHN BOSCO CATHOLIC SCHOOL GRADE: 6 STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND PRODUCTIVITY WHEN USING SMARTBOARDS IN THE CLASSROOM 1. How often is the Smartboard used throughout the school day on average? (%) The Smartboard is used on average 75% 2. What areas of the curriculum (or subjects/topics) is the Smartboard used more? Main uses English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Music, and Religion 3. How often is the Smartboard used in an interactive way (students are active participants)? (%) Half the time I use the Smartboard it is interactive - 4. In your professional opinion, are students more engaged in the learning process when the Smartboard is being used? Absolutely! Just yesterday we had a great Media lesson we were looking at CD covers and the students could come to the Smartboard and manipulate the colours on the CDs to see the change in impression it was so engaging! It is great to have lessons and activities prepared ahead so that instructional time is spent with students, not writing They love to get out of their seats and place the numbers on the number line or play the game. I can t imagine teaching with out it. All lessons plans are done on the Smart Board it get s students up it is great for small group instruction as a manipulative You can show students real examples of Renaissance Art or a Jazz tempo or you can watch the population of Canada grow on the population clock as you teach! Simple things like letting students change the colour of the marker encourages reluctant learners to the front. Yes with proper training a Smartboard is an amazing tool at all ages. Even taking attendance by students coming to the front to tap their name it engages all learners, special needs, ESL. I can t recommend it enough. Training is important it is user friendly but many lessons are very American maybe an easy way to share with other Ontario teachers EQAO could also have some Smartboard resources as well as the Ministry of ED website.

5 ST. JOHN BOSCO CATHOLIC SCHOOL GRADE: 7 STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND PRODUCTIVITY WHEN USING SMARTBOARDS IN THE CLASSROOM 1. How often is the Smartboard used throughout the school day on average? (%) 75% or more 2. What areas of the curriculum (or subjects/topics) is the Smartboard used more? Math, science, music and visual art 3. How often is the Smartboard used in an interactive way (students are active participants)? (%) At least 50% of the time 4. In your professional opinion, are students more engaged in the learning process when the Smartboard is being used? Without at doubt- they want to get involved in the lesson when the smartboard is being used. You get their attention and keep it, even the students who are prone to disengage. It has enabled me to be more explicit in my teaching, particularly when demonstration a particular skill in math, or a strategy in literacy. It has enabled me to empower my students by giving them ample opportunity to get actively involved in their learning in a way that they couldn t do so easily before. I have taught them how to create a power point, using the smart board to demonstrate- and most of them choose this as their method of presentation when presenting an assignment. They are all comfortable using this technology and it gives them a real sense of accomplishment to do so independently. YES!! At first I was a little uncomfortable with the idea of having to use one in my classroom, but now I honestly don t know how I taught before I did. It s a powerful teaching tool that engages students in ways that traditional old school methods never have. And by getting the students up and using it to direct their own learning, it gives them ownership and a sense of pride in their work. Patricia Loveys Grade 7 teacher St. John Bosco School Oshawa

6 ST. JOHN BOSCO CATHOLIC SCHOOL GRADE: 7/8 STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND PRODUCTIVITY WHEN USING SMARTBOARDS IN THE CLASSROOM 1. How often is the Smartboard used throughout the school day on average? (%) Smartboard technology is used with almost every lesson. It is particularly a practical tool for my split class to provide student led activities when working with small group. Dual lessons are smoothly delivered with ease using the split screen feature. 2. What areas of the curriculum (or subjects/topics) are Smartboards used more? Smartboard technology is used more easily in the area of mathematics, language and history, however I am also using it in a dance component. 3. How often is the Smartboard used in an interactive way (students are active participants)? (%) Smartboard technology is used interactively with math and language daily and on a more weekly basis for history creating tables, review of maps and sequential order of events. 4. In your professional opinion, are students more engaged in the learning process when the Smartboard is being used? Smartboard engages almost all students in the learning process. Students are eager to participate and model their learning for their peers. It is a useful tool to review a concept previously taught and provide students with an opportunity to lead learning after a lesson in small groups. Smartboard has moved me towards a more technologically based teaching style. All lessons are created using smartboard, word, and internet links. Smartboard allows me to organize units, reflect and make changes to save lessons for reteaching or the next year. Smartboard also provides me with the opportunity to open a lesson for students who may have missed a lesson and print slides for IEP students who may require a hard copy of a concept. Lessons are also posted online for student review. Absolutely. Smartboards are a valuable element involved in enhancing learning and engaging students in learning. Students are motivated to becoming interactive and take ownership of their learning.

7 ST. JOHN BOSCO CATHOLIC SCHOOL GRADE: 8 STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND PRODUCTIVITY WHEN USING SMARTBOARDS IN THE CLASSROOM 1. How often is the Smartboard used throughout the school day on average? (%). Smartboards are used about 60-70% of the time when we consider all subjects (including French) 2. What areas of the curriculum (or subjects/topics) is the Smartboard used more? The subjects in which the Smartboard is used the most would include Literacy, French, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, and Visual Arts. 3. How often is the Smartboard used in an interactive way (students are active participants)? (%) The Smartboard is used as an interactive tool approximately 40% of the time. 4. In your professional opinion, are students more engaged in the learning process when the Smartboard is being used? Students tend to be more engaged when viewing / interacting with the Smartboard as it emulates the way they communicate through everyday life (cell phones, ipods. Ect.). Using technology has made my life both difficult, yet more relaxing at times. I spend many hours trying to set up lessons / resources / student activities so students can stay connected with the classroom through podcasts; which adds to my work load. However, once this process is done, life becomes easier as pulling up already made resources on a class web site allows for the transfer of information to occur more freely. Students are more connected and differentiated learning can occur. Yes

8 More Tech, fewer textbooks touted for kids EDUCATION REPORTER Outside school, students are totally wired. Inside, they "power down." But schools risk turning off a generation of learners if they don't use technology to keep them interested, warns a paper to be released today by the Ontario Public School Boards' Association. "If their social lives are electronic, how can school life be paper and pencil?... We'll have trouble reaching them, and they'll have trouble learning," said Trustee Howard Goodman of the Toronto District School Board. He pushed the association to examine the issue two years ago after seeing a newspaper ad for $500 laptops and realizing that, in a few years, it will be cheaper to give each student a computer than continually provide up-to-date textbooks. "When that happens, the world changes," said Goodman, who owned a small software company and says even he has a hard time keeping up with his two children, aged 12 and 14. The association's paper is not a demand for more money for computers although it comes, coincidentally, just two weeks after the province trimmed school boards' technology budgets but rather, it's about "creating stimulating school environments" in the digital age. "We are educating a generation of children and youth who have no memory of a world without the Internet, without instant access to information, without an array of media at their fingertips," it says. "Many students feel that when they come into school they have to `power down' to fit into an environment that offers fewer options for learning than are available in the life they live outside of the school. This can erode students' perceptions of the relevance of education as they experience it in many schools today." Dave Walpole, director of program policy for the school boards' association, said the key is student achievement. There's a "significant link" between learning environment and student disengagement, he added, and graduation rates are increasing at a snail's pace. "This is about how to get more kids engaged and graduating, about using technology that really supports learning in a way that kids want to learn." Goodman stressed this isn't coddling students, nor will social, face-to-face interactions diminish; the goals of acquiring skills and knowledge remain the same. For two years, students and staff at Toronto's Parkdale Collegiate have participated in a pilot project using "academic workspace," which has been likened to Facebook. Students can submit assignments electronically, see teacher feedback, post research they've come across, check up on announcements or participate in group discussions and projects online which

9 teachers monitor and assess whether it's at 10 p.m. on Thursday night or 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning. The school even offers a civics course completely online. Students like the change, says Grade 11 student Carmen Fang. "But there's no excuses for handing in an assignment late," laughs the 17-year-old. "You can't say the dog ate it." Teacher Marlena Rivett says teens need to learn to use technology responsibly because they'll be working with it when they graduate. "Our students are doing this outside of class already... what we are doing is creating an academic environment for these tools," she said. At Guelph's Centennial Collegiate, students separate and analyze DNA, CSI-style, using real equipment, most of it just a few years old and donated from universities or corporations. "There's no doubt that students are thrilled and empowered when they use these new technologies in the classroom," said biology/biotechnology teacher Doug Gajic. "However, it is not necessarily what new technologies appear in our classrooms, but how we use them to teach." Indeed, today's report notes that teachers, too, need support and training. Technology creates an "inversion," in which teens and new teachers know more than 20-year veterans. The school boards' association is looking to spark discussion on the issue, and hopes the education ministry will set guidelines and basic technical standards for boards.

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