Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Can't Teach Without IT

Someone quoted me yesterday as having said I can't teach without my social network/PLN. My first reaction was to say no, but that I can't teach without my SMART Board. I can teach without my PLN, but having an active one makes my job so much easier. It's great to be able to connect to fellow educators who are there to offer support, help, and much-needed wit and wisdom to each other. My PLN keeps me on the cutting edge of my field, and in turn, I keep the kids on the edge of their seat.

Honestly, I really can't teach without my SMART Board. I tried unplugging one day last week. Not good. Although, when I have a substitute teacher, the same thing happens. Once I asked the class which they missed more - the SMART Board or me. Without hesitation, they replied the Board. And then they said, no, we miss you more. haha.

To turn back the clock 5 years transports me to an era of being the sage on the stage, trying to keep my students' focus with a dry erase board, overhead projector, and handmade centers. I've undergone a transformation since the day My First SMART Board arrived. I'm now the guide on the side, with the kids at the Board actively constructing their learning. I'm on the sidelines as their coach and cheerleader spotting their moves with my SMART Slate.

If you were a fly on the wall in my class, you'd see the Board at work when the kids arrive. SMART Notebook and SMART Ideas software are used in 90% of daily lessons. Ahhh, the power of Notebook. Whether you wish to create flashing text, disappearing ghosts, spinners, shrink and grow activities - the possiblities are endless. And that didn't include embedding flash files, You Tube videos, or Discovery Streaming segments to enhance the learning. Some days the Board goes home tired from overuse. Like today. Like me.

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