Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Sites For Smartboard Resources (& For Other IWB’s)

| 15 Comments

Check out my Education Week Teacher post, The Best Ways To Use Interactive White Boards

(NOTE: This post originally was a request to readers for suggestions of Smartboard and IWB resources. Responses were so good that I’ve decided to convert this post into a “The Best…” list. However, instead of listing recommendations within the body of the post, as I’ve done with my 900 other “The Best…” lists, you should just go directly to the comments to see all the great resources people recommend)

I’ve never used a Smartboard, though I regularly use smaller versions of $2 interactive whiteboards.

And I have a lot of respect for Bill Ferriter’s judgment in most things (see Wasting Money on Whiteboards. . . and Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards).

Given all that, though, I know a lot of teachers are in situations where they have these kinds of Smartboards in their classrooms.

Reader Jay Sugerman will soon have one, and he emailed this message to me:

please recommend both the best sites to learn how to incorporate this tool as well as any collections of good interactive sites and lessons.

So, as we said in my community organizing days, we are living in the world as it is as opposed to living it in the world as we’d like it to be — what are you suggestions for Smartboard sites and collections for teachers who have them?

TESiBoard has a nice selection of IWB resources. Thanks to Vicki Davis for the tip.

Interactive Whiteboards #101 : A short primer is from The Whiteboard Blog. Thanks to Richard Byrne for the tip.

Teacher Training Videos has a screencast
on how to use Smartboards with English Language Learners.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

15 Comments

  1. I’ve now been in multiple school to add boards without any training. I like Promethean boards better than the Smart boards, but I still only found limited worthwhile applications for them. It’s a lot more flash than actual improvement. If a school doesn’t have them yet, they should just try to get bluetooth enable projectors (if they exist) and tablets. The actual boards will be dinosaurs before we know it.

  2. These have been helpful to me and the teachers I am fortunate to work with:
    1. http://smartboardrevolution.ning.com/
    2. http://www.livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=26111
    3. http://exchange.smarttech.com/

    Jay,

    Good luck with your SmartBoard, as with all tools, It is just that. It is not the answer to all ed tech woes or completely future proof but it is a great tool when implemented appropriately. I can tell you from years of experience working with SMART Boards and supporting teachers that have boards In their classrooms that it has been a fantastic resource in our district.

    Enjoy your new tool and I hope these resources are a good start for you.

  3. SMART Exchange (http://exchange.smarttech.com) is amazing. Great warehouse of ready-made, customizable lessons, searchable by content keywords, state standards, grade levels, etc.

    Subscribe to James Hollis’ Teachers Love SMART Boards blog (http://teacherslovesmartboards.com/). You’ll get periodic email updates with links to download ready-made SMART Board lessons.

  4. I guess your question is really asking for resources for interactive whiteboards rather than any specific brand?
    Promethean Planet has a huge collection of resources for their ActivInspire software AND other programs, as well as user groups, blogs and Forums. Teacher-created lessons and some developed by partners, as well as resources to purchase.
    Plenty of online training too through ActivTips and free introductory courses.
    http://www.prometheanplanet.com
    Worth exploring whether you use an ActivBoard or any other IWB!

  5. I don’t dispute the fact that a SMART Board is not used appropriately by all teachers.

    But let’s say an average teacher uses a SMART Board appropriately for one hour per week. And that the cost of a SMART Board is around $1,000 (since we already have a projector and computer in the classroom). And that a SMART Board is good for 5-8 years. If the average cost for a teacher in the classroom is $50,000 (including benefits, etc.) over the course of 8 years we have at least $400,000 invested in the teacher. The cost in the classroom could be even higher if there are aides in the classroom.

    $1,000 out of $400,000 is 0.25% of the amount to have the teacher in the classroom. And if they use the SMART Board to improve instruction just 1.5 hours per week, that is 5% of the instructional time.

    And it is my job to make sure that there is adequate support and training to get the classroom teacher to use the SMART Board (and other technologies) appropriately.

    BTW – We also use iPads with the Apple TV to project from anywhere in the room, and we can control the SMART Board from anywhere in the room with an iPad.

    When I have had school board members mention that they walked through a school and only saw three out of 12 teachers using a SMART Board, I ask them to drive by the football stadium that is used for four varsity home football games each year…

    I have resources for SMART Boards and IWB on my Diigo site – http://www.diigo.com/user/cnansen – then type in SMART in the search box to see the different tags I have saved resources under. Do the same for IWB

    Craig Nansen
    @cnansen on Twitter

    • Hi,

      Thank you very much for your prompt reply and consideration!
      I look forward to exploring the resources you suggested.

      Best,

      Jay

    • Excellent points. But I find that you can do everything you mentioned and the resources you list without the actually IWB. All you really need is the projector. Can you give me some student centred activities that must be done a large touch screen (e.g., IWB)? or at least are best done on an IWB? Thanks millions.

  6. What I love most about my IWB is that because my school is 1:1, all students have the notebook software on their laptops. I can have them create activities for the IWB and present to the class.

    One thing I love about SMART is the free professional development that they do where you get a lot of ideas. I’m not sure how I got on that mailing list–I think I liked them on FB. Plus, someone has already mentioned SMART exchange. I’ve gotten some amazing ideas from them.

    Also try TES: http://www.tes.co.uk
    They have some amazing resources. The levels are a bit different since it’s the UK, but I have found some great IWB activities there.

    Michele Webb
    Houston Christian High School
    @laprofesorawebb

  7. Yteach. This website is the best. A lot of sites will just have submitted powerpoints,
    This site has interactive smartboard lessons including movies – questions – explanations-demos of stuff you ( I) can’t possibly do in class for various reasons. If you subscribe to the site- there is a fee, you can keep track of your students grades and progress etc.
    I have a board, I use it a lot, and have made a few of my own projects.
    It does take time to make interactive lessons. “Hiding and unhiding” and the magic hat stuff, drag and dropping is fun for awhile, and I am not knocking the tools you can use to make lessons fun,but since I am not the professional whiteboard lesson maker, I have looked for lessons on the web.
    Yteach is just that but it is located in Europe so the prices for the lessons are in euros. They offer math and science.
    They used to give free credits for signing your school up, but you can look at the demos for free. Hope this helps.
    My students have personal laptops and that adds the role of ” technology facilitator” to the “teacher defined.” We can use these tools together, but it doesn’t take the place of ” get up an do it” lab experience.
    Thanks for the other posts.

  8. A quick plug for my own blog which covers ideas and resources for Smart and Promethean boards

    http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk

    Also

    http://teacherslovesmartboards.com/
    http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-gb/
    http://exchange.smarttech.com/

  9. Are any of you who have graciously shared your IWB suggestions willing to write a 300-to-400 word for my Education Week column sharing some effective guidelines/lessons to use IWBs effectively in the classroom?

    Larry

  10. Pingback: Teaching With an Interactive Whiteboard | Wired Cosmos

  11. Well here’s what I think should anyone be interested! http://mirroredminds.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/how-using-an-iwb-led-to-digital-revelation-davids-odyssey/
    A lot my blog is designed for smartboard / computer room use…
    http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/
    Regards

  12. You have a lot of links to great software, websites, tips and and tricks on using an IWB. What I was looking for was the pedagogically sound reasons and methods to using an IWB. I see most demos with the teacher (or student) at the front of the whole class using the IWB as a presentation device. I’m not looking for specific apps or websites (e.g., SMART Notebook, Word, PowerPoint, etc.). For example, “IWBs are great for small groups of students to design a structure because they can all…” I’m looking for a solutions to instructional design issues that only an IWB can solve. Or at least that “an IWB is better than a mouse or tablet because…” So far I’ve found nothing that can’t be done with a computer or tablet (iOS/Android) hooked up to an LCD projector or large monitor. I really need good pedagogically sound reasons to spend so much money.

    Thanks very much for your help.

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