In this essay I am going to analyze advantages and disadvantages of using an Interactive Smartboard and the use of this device in order to improve the learning process. First I am going to answer the question of what the Interactive Smartboard is. “It’s a touch-sensitive screen that connects to a computer and projector. The projector displays the computer image on the large screen, and educators and students alike can simply touch the surface to select icons, navigate websites and manipulate images” (Commonwealth Secretariat 283+).
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Thus they can also write notes just using the finger and save them in the computer. The interactive Smartboards or whiteboards are used to improve skills of students all over the world with the help of introduction of computer technologies into the system of education.
The most obvious advantage of using the interactive whiteboard is that there is no need to use a chalk anymore, as the new system allows students and teachers to “control computer applications (or write notes) simply by pressing on the board’s touch-sensitive surface” (Bacon 281). This device also is of crucial importance for different kinds of library and classroom presentations fulfilled by students or teachers.
But the interactive Smartboard (whiteboard) is not just a way to entertain teachers and students or avoid using the chalk, it is not “a new toy for the teacher to relieve the boredom of delivering the Literacy Strategy structure every day” (Hope 189).
The thing is not only to make children fulfill habitual tasks of writing with the help of new more expensive technology, but to make them interested in the new technology, to evoke their interest to studying the subject. The thing that should be done first is to explain the children the principle idea of this new tool, the way of action, the purpose of using it; the children should understand the principle of operation of the tool, and the way they can use it “to support their design of thinking” (Hope 189).
“Research shows that one immediate benefits of using a SMART Board interactive whiteboard is the ability to quickly insert a pre-built graphic into a Notebook software file and to reuse previously created text and graphics” (Palecek 18). Thus the tool of interactive whiteboard gives a great number of creative possibilities, and as it supports a freehand drawing it prevents children from difficulty of drawing if they were using a usual computer mouse for this purpose.
The interactive Smartboard can be used for different purposes, but the main is still to engage students into learning the subjects. Thus the tool of a smart whiteboard is a perfect thing to make every one in the class participate in discussions, as the objects of those discussions are displayed on the board. Thereby the ideas under discussions can compose a certain image which is adapted by all participants of the discussion.
The system of interactive Smartboard is aimed at improvement of the learning process. The advantages and disadvantages of using an Interactive Smartboard and the use of this device in order to improve the learning process are obvious as the technological progress is integrated into educational system to facilitate its assignments, to involve all the children in the class participate in the discussion, and to increase the creativity of the students and teachers. The only disadvantage is that the discussion of problems, images, issues becomes the matter of the whole ‘society’, all children in the class are involved instead of thinking by their own.
Bacon, S. Pamela. 100 more Library Lifesavers: a Survival Guide for School Library Media Specialists. Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2003.
Commonwealth Secretariat. Commonwealth Education Partnerships. Cambridge: Nexus Strategic Partnerships Ltd., 2006.
Hope, Gill. Teaching Design and Technology 3-11: the Essential Guide for Teachers. Reaching the Standard. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004.
Palecek, Mike. Simple SMART Skills for Teacher Productivity and Student Engagement. Lulu.com, 2008.