Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Smart Board Workshop

I find technology interesting: A reflection on a Smart Board WorkshopJ

In the last several years I have attended various workshops to lean how to use certain programs, technology or gain new ideas in order to apply them in the classroom. I certainly found the many ideas and websites I gained from attending these workshops very beneficial; I certainly do apply them in my class. These ideas have evolved and become lessons I created and I am proud of them. One thing that I have certainly learned, however, is that you can attend as many workshops as humanly possible but if you don’t actively apply or practice what you have learned, can be useless.

I ponder this because I recently organized, hosted and assisted a Smart Board workshop for other teachers. It was interesting assisting other adults on learning how to use the Smart Board. Adults are definitely not as adventurous as children. Children will, as one would say, jump into the fire, and try. At this workshop, the adults, but most specifically teachers, were treading very carefully probably fearing that the Smart Board would probably combust. Many questions and theories were brought forth just before each touch of the board occurred. “What if…? What if…?” But they were all good questions. I held my breath each time…..I smiled and spurred them on with gentleness. Who said that only children need encouragement, so do adults. Some hesitated, not convinced that something positive will happen, up until they realized that the Board won’t break. As a matter of fact, their confidence level increased with every swipe of the Board. I no longer had to hold onto the Board for fear that it would tip over because they were practically punching the Board to make it write! Yeah, but it got better. So the workshop continued throughout the day in such a manner and I was proud of them. Not because they attended the workshop but because this group of teachers are all innovative and are willing to learn something that was not in their comfort zone. I found that after the workshop, although I am positive they felt overwhelmed; they were left with a feeling of contentment. It was satisfaction because the teachers learned something and felt empowered that their next lesson would be amazing! I hope this is the case.

I am convinced that the teachers will have left with a knowledge they did not initially have. They were given the tools to begin using the Smart Board, however, as I mentioned above, you must practice and apply what is learned otherwise there will always be a hesitation in using technology in the classroom.


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