Dear Teachers At Large,

Quite a few teachers I have had in my high school career have had access to Interwrite Boards in their classrooms. More commonly known as SmartBoards, these tools can either greatly enhance a classroom learning experience or visibly destroy it. A couple things you should consider concentrating on before introducing a your new toy to your classroom:

  1. Inexperience- Easily the most common issue. Because of simple inexperience with the new technology, I have had nearly entire periods wasted because a powerpoint won’t work, or a youtube video won’t load, or what have you. So I ask all teachers, even if you have been trained or done a tutorial about the use of your new toy, please try teaching a practice lesson.
  2. Overuse– No. Not everything needs to be done on a smartboard. There are still perfectly good chalk boards all around. So there is really no sense in waiting to open up a document simply to show a basic equation that can be jotted down in a couple lines, especially if there is no reason you would ever need to access it later
  3. Accessability- Not really a “problem”, but if you are going to take time to create a power point or some manner of digital lesson, consider making it available to students online to save the trouble of copying notes and allow them to concentrate on the actual learning.
  4. Visibility- Just because the screen is now quite large, it doesn’t mean that everyone can read your standard size 12 Times New Roman font. Before teaching a lesson, turn on the board and go sit in the back of the classroom. If you can’t read it, make it better
  5. Laziness- The real reason I wrote this. Having a smartboard does not, I repeat, does not give you the right to copy the book, a previous teacher, or some website’s notes or powerpoint, put it up on the screen and pass it off as teaching. Understand your subject. Learn the inner-working of the problems. Do not just blindly copy examples. And for crying out loud, if you let all else slide, at least read over the power point you are supposed to be presenting.

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