Smart Boards in Education

Smart Technologies, inventor of the smart Board, specializes in education and business. a As a Canadian company recently acquired by Foxconn—, the largest technology company in the world—Smart Technologies , is considered the leader in “Educational Technology Solutions.”, specializing in education and business. For the purpose of this article, we are discussing Smart Board use in education, and we’ll save the business aspect for a future article.

The Smart Board is essentially a system of communication and collaboration using interactive panels. Early Smart Boards were set up with projectors on an actual physical whiteboard, projecting onto sensors in the board. The modern Smart Board is an interactive flat panel, so your display or TV on the wall is now touch enabled. The boards are available in several different formats with the common sizes being 65"”, 75"”, and 86"”. One of the early descriptions of the product was that the Smart Board “makes everything easy.”. Most teachers who use them would tell you that they can’t imagine teaching without this amazing tool! And remember; , Smart Technologies provides training and professional development.

It’s been probably 15 years since 3D datacomm, now known as 3D Audio Visual Solutions, first sold a Smart Board. and the boards have changed a lot since then, from projector-based set-upsto LED technologies. They are powerful motivational tools in the classroom at all age levels. As interactive whiteboards, their advantage is that they’re so easy to start using. They have built-in, Android- powered intelligence with a built-in computer, with some functionality and dedicated apps. You can also add a small- form PC into the board so it then becomes like a very large windows tablet, which that you can use like an iPad or a PC on the wall, which is great for video conferencing. The board features agnostic sharing of content, so it works with Miracast, Google Ccast, and Apple Airplay, among others.

Smart Board’s’ big claim to fame is that they have 40 “unique points of simultaneous touch ”which can be active at the same time, on Windows operating systems, and 20 of those touchpoints on Mac and IQ. So, one person can go up and start drawing with one of their pens while, at the same time, another person can start writing with a different colour, and a third person can start using an eraser, all at the same time, then get with eventually up to 20 or even 40 things happening on the board at once. Smart boards of competitors of Smart Technologies ‘competitors typically don’t do that. Most of them would have one or maybe two touch points. Collaboration technologies within the classroom are incredible. Because of the wireless sharing, each student could have a tablet or an iPhone, as most of them typically do now. When these student devices work with a Smart Board, a teacher can use them for brainstorming, collaboration among students, and assessments. You can actually run interactive quizzes and polls on the spot. Results are immediate, so you can put an equation on the board asking,” What’s 2 + 2?” and then possible answers would flash up on their students’ iPads:

 a: -2
 b-: 4
 c: -6
 d-: 8

Students choose their answers on their own devices, and the teacher has immediate feedback on the class as a whole, as well as on each individual student!

Within the Smart Board package, there is built-in educational content, including a database of shared teacher content, and apps such as the Smart Ink software. With Smart Ink, you can write into any document or image on the screen and the ink “sticks,”, not being restricted by layering. And no subscription is required for any of it.

Smart Technologies also has an educational package called Lumio, which is a relatively newpackage. Lumio makes it easy to turn your lessons into active, collaborative learning experiences, to engage students on a whole new level, magically delivering lessons to student devices. Quickly and easily combine pages from different file types into one engaging Lumio lesson and bring it to life by adding images, text, and video.

The big catch phrase in educational product trends these days is “Gamification,” so with Lumio, you can take a Word document you might have had for the last ten years, or a PowerPoint you’ve been showing class after class, and you can gather pictures and more information off the internet and create a competition-based game. When you make it fun, kids don’t realize they’re learning. Within Lumio, there are lesson templates and digital manipulatives available to teachers, and they can even record instructional audio right in the web browser that students can play back asmany times as they like for guidance and support—, anywhere, anytime. Lumio is flexible as its allowing students to connect to your lessons in a web browser on any device, either in person orremotely.

With hybrid learning during the Covid era, the future is unknown as far as education is concerned. This fall, we may have students at home, in quarantine again, or sometimes full classes, or and sometimes smaller groups of students, . but But they students should be able to learn and not miss out on any of the lessons just because they’re at home. Lumio is a gamechanger! Students can explore at their own pace and easily work on their own copy of the activities. Teachers can observe and give feedback to students in real time with audio instruction to guide them. Teachers can add live polls, formative assessments, and game-based quizzes to connect students and spark collaboration even at a distance. With whole whole-class or small-group collaborative activities, students work together to contribute text, images, or weblinks to a project. And the teacher can easily view which students added and edited the items. There would be no difference for your students in your classroom or the ones at home. They would be getting exactly the same lesson plan.

Check out the links below for more information and for visual presentations of SmartTechnologies products in action.:

Discover a SMART Display for Your Classroom:
What is Lumio?

EdTech, SMART Boards & Lumio Classroom Learning Software // SMART

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