Friday, February 4, 2011
Professional Development Day - Smartboard Technology
I'm going to return to this blog later on today, but for now I am off to an Occasional Teacher's Professional Development Day at a local high school. The topic of the day is Smartboards. Unfortunately I think this may be a little late in the game. I found last spring and the first part of this fall I had quite a few lessons planned for me, to use the Smartboard, which I was able for the most part to muddle through. However, lately I have not had a single day, where the Smartboard is anything more than a big white board, covering up all the available writing space on the chalkboard. My feeling is that regular teachers have encountered too many supply teachers who have limited ability to handle a Smartboard lesson, and have returned to preparing day plans using more traditional technologies.
The other unfortunate thing I note as I roam from school to school, is that I see very few teachers using a Smartboard in their classrooms as anything more than a WORD program screen. There have been huge numbers of taxpayers dollars being poured into having this technology in most classrooms, and I think the teaching potential is rarely being realized or achieved.
When I return, I'm sure I will have plenty of new ideas. It will also be a good session to get together with other supply teachers and compare notes on what is transpiring in their lives. Sometimes, as a supply, you feel you lead a very isolated life, professionally.
I'm back, professionally developed and all! Actually it was a pretty decent course. I was able to sit with the missus, so it was a good all round day. Our instructor was bright and peppy, without being too much so. I do seem to be able to attract the winners though. We had one seat left at our computer pod, and a latecomer blew in, and not just your normal, average, everyday late comer -- oh no. It had to be Mrs Negativity herself and at top volume. "Sorry I'm late, but I just feel like turning around and going back home. I had to witness an accident and wait to give the police report, and the police was mad at me because I didn't get a good description of the runaway vehicle and on and on and on........." And that was pretty much the tone of the day. Nothing worked on her computer, none of the buttons were the same as anyone else's, even though the instructor seemed to be able to find everything for her immediately.
I certainly learned a lot of interesting techniques on Smartboard. We spent a bit of time investigating www.smarttech.com which is a site promoting Smartboard lesson plans and ideas. It is amazing what is out there, a click of a mouse, away.
As always, they fed us well at the workshop. Our Occasional Teacher executive is able to stretch their budget quite well. I am always surprised there are not more OT's taking advantage of free training, good eats and pleasant environments.
It was good talking to other OT's as well, about day to day issues. I gather I am pretty fortunate to be teaching every day, as some were complaining about their lack of days this fall.
And that is about all I have to say for today.
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.