Thursday, October 28, 2010

We all got smart boards!



People think I'm tech savvy, but I'm not. I am baffled by things like connecting VCRs, or programming remote controls. Everything I learned about the Internet and websites I learned because I had to - my job switched from PR to Online PR overnight.

I went from writing press releases for news editors, to writing them to be found, or "indexed" by Google. And I taught myself the old fashioned way ... lots of time, banging my head against the computer, and using not so great language.

So I'm not sweating these smart boards. Here's my advice for people like me: In other words, non-techies who want to learn this thing in order to be at their best in the classroom.

1. No one said we have to learn this thing overnight. If we learn one new thing a week, and try putting it to use in a live classroom - that's awesome.

2. There's that whole Internet thing. I googled "smartboard tutorial" and got 50,000 results. Googling "smartboard lesson" produced 200,000 results.

I heard a teacher got a smart board for dummies book ... that's what I normally do - turn to the dummies series. But I figure the web is free.

3. Turn it on! Then click stuff. You can't break it. I set aside 5 minutes a day to make sure I'm playing with the board, outside of class. Some of these mini sessions are fruitless ... I click aimlessly and then turn off the board. Sometimes I find a cool trick - and yes I absolutely show it off the next day to the kids!

4. Ask our tech guy Jason M! He's awesome.

5. I'm finding once the ball gets rolling, it picks up momentum fast. If you learn one thing (Hey, I can pull up a website - and draw on it!) ... that quickly leads to other tricks and features to be uncovered.

My main point is I had to learn to tie my shoes by the bunny ear method ... the other way still confuses me. I do NOT have a logical, science / math-type mind. I can barely turn a screw driver, or set my car stereo.

So if I can do this, so can you. The one thing the smart board doesn't realize is I'm brutally persistent. Like a stubborn bulldog that won't stay down, or like Rocky - a little punchy but not willing to quit.

If you have any questions please come find me in room 205 and we can bang our heads against your machine together - until we figure it out. Here's a video I just found ... not awesome, at a glance kind of useful, and free!


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