Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Guest Post - Talking SmartBoards & More

Hi Everyone,

I am proud to have a guest blogger today, Anne Marie from Talking Smartboards & More. Please enjoy her post below and visit her blog!

I was very honored when Patrick asked me to write a guest post on his wonderful blog as part of his 30 Days to a Better Blogger Challenge. On my blog Talking SMARTBoards & Much More I discuss my experiences incorporating the SMARTBoard (and other technologies) into a special education classroom. It has been a journey that has empowered my students to demonstrate abilities that had previously been hidden like a shadow at night- it's there, you just can't see it without a light. The SMARTBoard has been their light! A way for my students to succeed, to demonstrate their knowledge, to raise their self-esteem, to make a difference in their lives, to show others they can be challenged and succeed. Because of the interactivity of the SMARTBoard and the flexibility of the Notebook software I am able to design lessons that differentiate learning, adapt learning objectives and give my students a way to express their knowledge. Students that may not be able to complete typical, standard worksheets can manipulate objects on the SMARTBoard to address objectives and answer comprehension questions within the MA Curriculum Frameworks. Last year when we wrote poetry, discussed Romeo and Juliet, learned about MLK, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement and explored the 2008 Presidential election, just to name a few, each student was a true active participant.
Many of the software programs that I have used for years with my students, including Board Maker, Writing with Symbols and Intellitools partner well with the SMARTBoard. Using the SMARTBoard with web based interactive activities opens the door for so many students who experience difficulties manipulating the mouse. Participation is as easy as a touch of their finger. As a teacher, nothing makes my heart smile brighter than seeing that look of pride when a student accomplishes a goal that had otherwise eluded him/her. And as important, it also has allowed others to see the true potential my students possess-- to believe in them as I always have.
I would encourage everyone to explore the possibilities that a SMARTBoard can hold for all students. I know when I first started experimenting with the SMARTBoard I felt like one pebble in a stream of rocks. But I am here to tell you that it's ok to be that pebble because it only takes one pebble to change the flow of a stream.
Some of my "favorite" places to visit to obtain ideas about SMARTBoards and integrating technology are- Teachers Love SMARTBoards, SMARTBoard Revolution, The WhiteBoard Blog, No Limits 2 Learning, Free Technology for Teachers, The Inclusion Revolution- Technology in Special Education. When looking for interactive web based resources to use with the SMARTBoard I visit Thinkfinity, Johnnies Math Page, Sheppard Software, Topmarks, Instructional Technology-Lee Summit.