Thursday, February 19, 2009

SMART Boards & Special Education

Things that go together:
  • peanut butter and jelly
  • popcorn & movies
  • Jedi & Lightsabers (my geek is coming out)
  • SMART Boards & Special Education

Maybe this last one isn't much of a stretch for you, I know it isn't for me. So what reasons would I suggest a SMART Board be in every special education classroom.

1.  It's big!
Students with special needs frequently respond well to visuals. So what's better than a really large visual? I personally can't tell you how many times I've wanted to project a worksheet, a picture for background knowledge, or anything that I've wanted to share with the entire class but have no easy way to do it.

2.  It's flexible!
A SMART Board give you the opportunity to change what you are doing on the fly. You can create an activity and change it as the students watch. You can have them edit a document using the pens, or just pointing out the mistakes. There are so many different ways to use it.

3.  It's interactive!
Students with special needs require different modalities to learn, but also to access technology. Traditional methods using mice, keyboards, etc... are limiting to some segments of our population. The touch and click ease of a SMART Board allows many students the opportunity to interact with a computer like never before.

4.  It's easy!
While you may require a little bit of training, most people can walk up and start using a SMART Board right away, it's very intuitive. You don't have to use any special software (although there are some nice features in the Notebook Software). You don't have to use it. You can use any piece of software currently installed on you computer and it will work seamlessly!

5.   It's FUN!
So maybe this is my inner geek coming out (actually I just have an outer geek!), but it's fun to use. Who would want to create a giant Jackson Pollock Painting? or race the giant timer? Or what about doing a giant number race? or what about having your entire calendar time done on the SMART Board? There are so many fun activities you can do with the SMART Board.

These are my thoughts, do you have any thoughts on why SMART Boards should be in more classrooms?


Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons User: Adwriter

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