Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Here's a great way to use your SmartBoard

How often do we run out of funds to take students on field trips? Or you just don’t want to take them on a field trip because of the behavior problems that could arise? Imagine taking a virtual tours or a virtual field trips without the stress of finding funds or the chaos of students being out of their routine!

What about in science - you could put a plant (or other specimen) on the doc cam, hooked up to the SmartBoard and projector. Now you have an interactive opportunity to label the parts of your object or help students observe pieces they may not notice on their own.

Here is a website that will search smart-board lessons with state standards. On this page you can search by browsing curriculum standards or subject/grade level.

There seem to be endless possibilities!


Joseph Miller said...

The idea of using the SmartBoard to label the parts of plant that is being displayed using a camera is really motivating. I can just imagine students coming to the front to interact with the plant and to "leave their mark". Not only that, the process could be recorded as a screencast to be shared with colleagues or even parents!

Israel said...

Looks like class went well for you guys today. It was great meeting the new group yesterday.

Im very interested in seeing how this technology is used with the younger kids. I think it would be cool to see how some of these kids go through our ranks and see how they grow from elementary to middle to high school.

Jeff Lewis said...

Great idea about field trips!

How about students planning and leading their own "field trip". There are so many great resources on local destinations' websites. My third graders recently did some exploration into the life of Benjamin Franklin, partly in preparation to go to the exhibit honoring his 300th birthday at the Museum of Nature and Science. I was so impressed with the resources that the museum had on their website! Students could take such resources and with some guiding, take their classmates on a virtual tour through the museum and all that they learned about Benjamin Franklin, using the web, powerpoint, Smartrecorder etc.

How would students feel choosing and planning a field trip that they get to guide?

Joseph Miller said...

Awesome idea, Jeff! Our students will feel most respected when they are creating something of their own.

One thing I learned from listening to Debra Pickering is that students that come from backgrounds like our students are at a huge disadvantage. They have fewer real-world experiences than middle class students and have less background knowledge to draw on. If we start taking students on virtual field trips and they become the experts that lead field trips that disadvantage is reduced.

Jon Fisher said...

Great posting, Kelly! Since so many of our students have little opportunity due to socio-economic or other factors it would be great to take virtual field trips.
Great comments from Jeff too! I like the idea of having the students taking their classmates on these virtual tours.
I would also like to mention educational webcams. There are many zoo-cams and other fun resources to extend lessons. With the smartboard and the screen-capture software we learned about students could gather still images to label and organize. An interesting article by Article by Cara Bafile on the website Education World® mentions lessons on natural disasters and the Iditarod studies through webcams at

Combine some of these features with GoogleEarth and get ready to motivate!

Dave Clark said...

Thanks for the great web-link. Will share with teachers next year using the Smart Board.

Andrew Palmer said...

I also realized some great potential in using this type of activity with elementary age kids in science. I created a dinosaur labeling activity, where students (or groups) choose a dinosaur, find a picture of it, and label the picture with information found online. Some examples: what the dinosaur's name means, what they eat (vocab: carnivore/omnivore), how tall/long they are, interesting features, teeth/claws length, etc. What better way to get the kids excited to learn? And the videos that UnitedStreaming offers on dinosaurs could reinforce this deep learning.

Calli said...

I am not totally comfortable with using the SmartBoard, however, as I have observed teachers in my building use them during instruction of mathematics. I must say 99% of the students were on task. It is a wonderful tool for student engagement, and I am looking forward to joining the team of teachers that are actively using the SmartBoard.

Jill said...

I love the idea of labeling the parts of a plant using a SmartBoard. I may change it up a bit and use this idea to label the parts of a butterfly.
Good thinkin'!