A SMART Board is an interactive whiteboard educators use to teach students new information in powerful ways with digital tools.
A SMART Board takes everything you need in a whiteboard and mixes it with the excitement of a touchscreen to bring a teacher's lessons to life. A SMART board is a tool used by educators to project and connect with their content, videos, interactive lessons, presentations, and other digital media. Also known as an interactive whiteboard, the surface itself is a touch screen usually with four pens to write on it. Using their SMART software, teachers can create interactive lessons, combine video and other websites into the lesson as well as manipulate the text on the screen. Students can write on the board as well to solve problems, show evidence of an answer or anything else the teacher would wish for. When asking, what is a SMART board, the answer is so many, many things.
Just like many please say Kleenex when they want a tissue, SMART boards are a brand of interactive whiteboards. We often call interactive whiteboards for classrooms SMART boards, but many other brands make them, including Promethean, Clever, Hitachi and Vibe, just to name a few. All these brands include the similar idea of projecting a website or software and writing on or working with the interface to teach the class new information. The overall purpose of using interactive whiteboards in the classroom is to get beyond the typical writing notes on the board, or projecting something flat that cannot be manipulated. SMART boards come with a variety of tools such as timers, diagrams, pull tabs, random name generations, matching and more to keep students' interest peaked and learning the most that they can.
Many SMART boards have two main components the interactive whiteboard and the projector used to put the images from a computer onto the screen.
As technology continues to advance, so do the latest SMART boards. When asking, how does a SMART board work, most SMART boards are comprised of a board that is plugged into electricity and usually a USB cord to plug into a laptop or computer. Then there is usually a projector component that could be mounted to the ceiling or on an arm connected to the SMART board. Once the SMART board is connected and recognized by the laptop or computer and the image is projected upon it, the teacher or the students can now use the pens or their finger to write on the board, select anything from a website, underline, highlight or use whatever they could do on a touchscreen on the screen. The software includes the multi-touch technology that allows up to four students to write on the screen at the same time. This allows them to solve problems, work together to answer questions or take notes all together.
The newest model of SMART board known as the 6000S, MX, GX and 7000R series all work without a projector and use similar technology as a laptop screen. Also known as SMART displays, they can be wireless or hard wired into the internet so they do not need to be connected to a computer, but teachers can sign into their account and use saved projects and lessons they created away from the SMART board. It also has multi-touch technology for students to write on it at the same time with most newer models having 10-20 touchpoints but the 6000S series can have up to forty touchpoints. It also has collaboration software for students to share their laptop or other online device with the screen.
The main software for using a SMART board is called SMART Notebook. This is similar to a PowerPoint software where you create slides for a lesson. However, on each page you can create interactive lessons using tools in the software that can be manipulated, written on, or displayed for more information. There are also active learning tools available to help bring things to life such as diagrams or sorting activities which the students can interact with.
The newest software is called Lumio, and it allows teachers to take the SMART Board and bring it to students in a virtual way. Teachers share their lessons to students who learn from home online or to student devices at school. They can interact with digital materials, watch embedded videos, and use already made activities. How this software differs is the ability to have all students engage in the lessons. Students sign in and then can complete individual worksheets or collaborate on the lesson. Also, the Lumio lessons can be teacher-pacing where the teacher advances the lesson or student-pacing where the students move the lesson along when they want to when learning on their own. This software was created to help when many students were learning virtually and has continued to meet the needs of 21 century students.
The add-on tool of the SMART board clickers allows students to get instant feedback on assessments.