As I prepare to begin my third week with my SMART board, I have learned some valuable usages. I am finding that I can plan better for my students because I have saved exactly what I discussed in class, and I am finding that keeping a weekly board is more beneficial than starting a new board document every day. I also am able to incorporate unique digital emphasis strategies that make longer term connections with my students. I can also convert board work to documents and use only the vocabulary written on the board in my tests and quizzes so I can monitor better what vocabulary items the students already know and I can reinforce and provide problems that are confidence building.In keeping true to my commitment not to use traditional pens or traditional ink, I have done so, and my students and I are happy with the change. As for constraints I only have a few technical discoveries at this point. The first is a simple fix as I share my room with a math teacher who has different settings on his computer, I will need to reorient the software so that my computer works with the board efficiently post his usage. I believe that SMART has a useful orientation tool that makes this easy. In addition, I have found that I sometimes find issues with Spanish accent marks when the SMART board notebook and Microsoft Word are running at the same time. Usually if I close one then I am fine with the typing commands. I do not like that problem as it is a part of daily usage for foreign language teachers, and I will probably send an email to request a fix of this bug to SMART and Microsoft.
Finally, I have to let everyone know that I am doing really well at my new school, and I am very happy to be here and impressed with my students. Sometimes life has an ironic way of making everything work out. I still work in Chatsworth, and I still have the same commute. As for some bonuses, I am looking out my window every day at a construction of a new campus that will continue to provide great technology usage and a newer environment that is pleasing to our parent community and student body. And at our faculty trustee dinner of our 35th year, I learned that Chatsworth Hills Academy just earned “Best Private School” by the Daily News Readers Choice Awards for the fourth year in a row.
This small town kid from West Virginia is doing OK.