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The SMART Board, or interactive white board, has become a vital tool in today's technology-driven classroom as it brings a new level of interaction into the experience students have while learning. They become part of the lessons and remember activities better as their physical touch on the SMART Board has an immediate and lasting effect. Anything teachers can do that will leave an impact on students will help them remember the skills and concepts they need to learn better and for a longer time. However, teachers are busy people and may not want to take the time to learn new technology. Follow these tips to successfully train teachers to begin using SMART technologies in their class.
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Set Up and Installation
First discuss what the requirements of setting up the SMART Board will be and what you will need. These items include a mobile data projector or In Focus machine (a ceiling-mounted data projector will make your experience extremely difficult and time-consuming to set up), a computer, and the SMART Board installation software (this can be downloaded-the most up-to-date version should always be used even if it isn't what came with your SMART Board, which should currently be Notebook 10 software).
The installation CD's should come in both MAC and Windows versions. My experience is that there are a few functions that do not work as well with MACs. Install the software and reboot the computer, ensuring that the SMART Board is completely connected to the computer and projector according to the instruction manual which should be included with your SMART Board.
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The first steps to SMART Board training should be the absolute basics. Just like students, your teacher trainees will have differing levels of technology familiarity and abilities, but they will all need to master the basics before they can move on.
Orienting the SMART Board is necessary to be able to use it well. To orient the SMART Board, you must hold down the two buttons on the front of the SMART Board tray, one of which is the keyboard button, until a blank screen with X's in the corners appear. Demonstrate how to touch each X in the middle to make the computer's touch screen function work accurately.
Then, open a few of the commonly used programs on Windows such as Word, PowerPoint, or the Internet, showing how the programs function the exact same way as they did before, except that you can use both the touch functions and the mouse and keyboard to operate them. Push the keyboard button on the tray and demonstrate using the keyboard on the screen with your finger.
Open the tools display by touching the arrow on the left side of the screen. The tools display should appear. Give the teachers a brief demonstration of the most-commonly used tools such as the screen, arrow function, pens and erasers. Allow for participants to come up and try out some basic functions themselves.
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Training and Resources
Teachers might want to know specific functions of the SMART Board that you cannot cover in a short period of time. If this occurs, direct them to the Two Minute video Tutorials and Training sessions found on http://smarttech.com/. From the main page, they can go to the Training section, or go directly to http://smarttech.com/us/Resources/Training. As the videos are only two minutes long, choose one you find useful to most classroom teachers and show it to the group.
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Already-Made Lesson Plans and Activities
Teachers have a huge workload and will first need to dedicate some time to familiarizing themselves with the SMART Board before becoming comfortable enough to create their own lesson plans. However, by just doing a simple Google search, they can find thousands of lessons online that other teachers have already created.
There are also plenty of resources on the SMART Board site. Direct them to http://smarttech.com/us/Solutions/Education+Solutions for more ideas and information.
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What must be emphasized, is that until the teachers have taken the time to practice themselves, they will not master the SMART Board. Offer up practice time whenever possible along with your help, as well as some helpful handouts such as the ones available on the SmartTech website. Make sure to make yourself available for their questions as much as possible.