Wednesday, July 19, 2006

we aRe jusT a TOUCH awAy...

What's on my mind...
It is my second time in MK2 for class PKEY 3101 Technology in Primary Education. Upon entering the class, my eyes blurred by the many faces in the crowded class. For a second, I thought I was in the wrong class. To add that, the lecturer was a male and never had I seen him before. Then, I saw a hand waving to me. Finally my eyes could focus and it was Dashaini. I sat right beside her and although my eyes had cleared, my mind blurred. I thought I was going to be sick.

Anyways, the new lecturer's warm smile eased my headache. We were learning the basic operations of a Smartboard. Yes, the board which the lecturer had shown on the first day of lecturing as we stared at the board with awe.

What I've learnt today...
I had the chance to touch the Smartboard at last after the lecturer and the temporary consultant Mr. Sam had taught us in detail some of the possible functions of the Smartboard. It was an enlightening class as I felt that I had learned some of the most basic and safe way of handling the Smartboard without destroying it.

Firstly, my doubt about how the Smartboard works was cleared. How can a person write on a board without using any ink? Mualah! The Smartboard, the board itself consists of a front and rear. In between the front and the rear there are air gaps. So, if a person touches on the front of the board, a connection is created to the rear. Thus, a touch can be detected.

Secondly, I learned that Smartboard does not operate by itself. One will need to connect a computer or a lap top to the board using a USB port and to the projector using a VGA. Therefore, by knowing this, I would save myself from embarassment of forgetting to include the projector or laptop when doing presentations using the Smartboard in the near future.

Thirdly, the Smartboard is not just about a board with a touch screen and buttons. One can click, create a page of drawings and writings of his own, choose from the gallery and have vast choices on the background and pictures for the page creations, or even move, save and delete and erase his creations. It is a tool of many possible functions or usage depending on how a person wants to use it.

Therefore, why waste such a great electronic tool? Educators see a great practicality in integrating the Smartboard in teaching.

How would the Smartboard affect my work as a teacher?
In my opinion, my work as a teacher will not be as simple as one would perceive. Especially in the modern era of science and technology. Primary pupils maybe more skilful in using a computer if compared to a teacher. Therefore, integration of technology is seen as vital so that educators will not fall behind in the era of advancement in technologies.
The Smartboard is already being used in teaching in the Western countries. According to one of the survey being carried out in the West, there is a high degree of satisfaction from educational leaders ranging from early elementary to academic settings (Dr. Bell, M.A., 2002).

Children's attention span is getting shorter nowadays with many inventions far more modern than what we have 10 years ago. Computer online games, playstation2, PDAs, handphones, satellite tvs and many more are getting more of their attention. A teacher will need more than a chalk and a black board to attract them into his lesson. Thus, using a brand new Smartboard will be a breath of fresh air in the classroom. It is clean as it does not need any chalks (merit for that!) and it is very attractive even for older students. Moreover, a teacher will no longer need to buy and draw all by himself the characters of a story on a big piece of mahjong paper to prepare for story telling in a class. The Smartboard will be time, money and energy conserving. He can just find for pictures and background on the internet or softwares to suit his teaching and he can even add animations. Indirectly, pupils' different learning styles can be catered to. Pupils who are visual learners will acquire knowledge better if they can actually see the animations. This is especially good for teaching the Science subject on the topics which are more abstract and most pupils find difficult on; for example, the topic of The Earth and the Universe. The teacher can present a 3D-animation on how sun and moon eclipses are formed.

The Smartboard is a kid magnet (Dr.). Pupils are very drawn to it and inhibited pupils can be encouraged to join in to contribute ideas by tapping on the screen or writing. Therefore, they will have more sense of confidence in them which will then elevate their learning.

I had been to a Year 3 class in which the teacher integrate computers in her teaching. Pupils were required to share the computers in pair as there were no enough computers in the laboratory. The pupils were very eager to use the computers. However, problems occur as the pupils' computers were not syncronized with the teacher's. It was hard too control the class because pupils kept wondering off from the page the teacher required the pupils to be. Then, some computers had problems starting and some could not run the software. With the Smartboard, pupils can participate as a group in class discussions. The teacher could control the class better as the attention is to the front of the class where the board will be.

The use of Smartboard in the classroom has required I, as a future teacher, to better equip myself in the knowledge of operating a Smartboard and the application of softwares useful in teaching, such as microsoft word or powerpoint. Every lesson is like a presentation of wonderful creations using the computer.

Hopefully I can learn even more of the Smartboard and the possibilities in teaching that it offers. Therefore during my future lessons, my class will run smoothly when using the Smartboard instead of hearing me shouting: "Hey, pressing this supposed to work (as I press and press even harder on the screen till it nearly creates a hole)!" or even "Oh, God. I should have listen when the lecturer taught me how to use this in UM. Now the Smartboard is really useful. To paste pupils' artwork at the back of the classroom!"

Dr. Bell, M.A. (2002, January). Why Use An Interactive Whiteboard? A Baker's Dozen Reason. Retrieved July 19, 2006, from

Marilyn, Elias. (2004, May 4th). Short Attention Span Linked to Tv. Retrieved July 20, 2006, from


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed looking at your site, I found it very helpful indeed, keep up the good work.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This site is one of the best I have ever seen, wish I had one like this.

4:41 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home