Smart Boards in the Classroom

The Smart Board is an interactive classroom technology that has been around for approximately ten years. It is becoming increasingly popular in classroom today, but many people do not understand exactly what makes it different and more efficient than the standard white board or chalk board. By knowing its many creative features, the teacher can then decide for his or herself if it is the right technology to have in his or her classroom.

The Smart Board contains several intriguing features that can be efficiently and effectively used in the classroom. For pre-learning exercises, teachers can allow students to brainstorm ideas. These ideas can then be recorded on to the Smart Board, where they can then be dragged and dropped to other areas on the screen for grouping. To review concepts that students have learned, the teacher can use click and drag activities that are sometimes called electronic worksheets. Interactive worksheets can also be created and recorded on to the Smart Board. It can also be used as a touch screen, so fun games such as Jeopardy can be played. Students simply touch the screen to choose the topic and dollar amount. The Smart Notebook software used for Smart Board includes templates of graphic organizers such as Venn Diagrams that are great for comparing and contrasting topics (Price 2006). In addition, the Smart Board includes interactive features such as the electronic word wall and digital storytelling, where students can use the highlighter tool to highlight nouns, verbs adjectives, etc. Teachers can create lesson plans with the Smart Board, as well as e-folios to store samples of students’ work, and project calendars to keep track of lessons and assignments. The Smart Board even contains built in maps to teach continents, oceans, countries, or states and capitals (Interactive Whiteboards in the Classroom 2009).

Many students have had a very positive reaction to the use of the Smart Board in his or her classroom. Research shows that the use of the Smart Board has increased students’ motivation and participation, and has improved their social skills, reduced their need for note-taking and ultimately increased their self-confidence. Other than the effect on the social aspects of students, the use of the Smart Board has also positively affected the way students learn. Select students who have had experience with the use of the new technology have commented on their increasing ability to learn by using the Smart Board, noting that it is much more interesting and intriguing than that of a lecturing teacher (Melago 2007).


Although there are many advantages to the use of smartboards in the classroom, there also many disadvantages that are not as well publicized. For instance, there are very high costs involved in making all the smartboads well suited for the classroom. Not only must the smartboard be purchased, but separate software must be also be bought for all the capabilities to work correctly (Ouwehand, 2010). Also, the smartboard is not ideal for large class sizes. The smartboard display is not very big and is often difficult for all the students in a large class to see (Ouwehand, 2010). Before considering a smartboard, the teacher must remember that a great deal of research should be done before hand to see if a smartboard is right for their class.

In the future, smartboards will be found in a majority of classrooms, because they are already gaining popularity throughout the country. It is the role of the teacher to make sure that all students are able to learn efficiently, and the teacher should use the best products on the market to make it possible. Smartboards enable teachers to work efficiently without having to jump between a computer and whiteboard. The utilization of smartboards in the classroom is also beneficial to many students, because it often times enables them to visualize what the teacher is saying. Although smartboards may make a teacher’s job easier sometimes, it may not be right in every classroom environment. Instead each teacher should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a smartboard in their classroom prior to deciding if it is right for them.


Bell, Mary Ann. Why Use an Interactive Whiteboard? A Baker’s Dozen Reasons!2002.
Buyer, L. (2010). Smart board changes classroom. Retrieved from
Cohn, D. (2005). Boards get brains, chalk vanishes. Wired, Retrieved from
Ireland, B. (2009). Smart boards in the classroom. Retrieved from
xOuwehand, A. M. Smartboard. 2010.
Price, A. (2006). Ten ways to get smart with smart board. Tech&Learning, Retrieved from

Smalling, Laura. Get Smart! Smartboards in K-3 Classrooms. Oct. 2008.
Smart board remembers every word. (2005). SMART, Retrieved from
US/ About+Us/News+Room/SMART+in+the+Media/2005.htm?guid={9B3A1D79-DA3A-408C-B78D-37ACEEAC64E0}

Alisha Roberts
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Alisha's Notes

Why use interactive White Boards?

  • Improve students attitudes in learning
  • A survey was conducted and teachers love the boards. They help to incorporate technology in the classroom.
  • They use a digital projector to present the material on the board. This material can be altered from a computer or just simply touching the board
  • Any material on the board can be saved and then printed out for the students.
  • Reaches a wide variety of learning styles such as: Visual learners, tactile learners and so on

Bell, M. (1996). Why use an Interatctive whiteboard?. (# 666956 ), Retrieved from

Smart board changes classroom
  • Smart board allows teachers to send what children are learning in class to children who are sick at home. All these children need is to have access to the internet
  • The smart board programs allow teachers to use flash cards, video’s, be able to highlight important concepts, upload videos, and save information.
  • Students pay attention more than ever before. Students even compete to participate in class.
  • Children have even said themselves Smart boards have made it easier to grasp difficult concepts
  • Smart boards have changed the way learning happens

Buyer, L. (2010). Smart board changes classroom. Retrieved from
Smart boards in the classroom
  • The smart boards are equipted with 4 digital pens. These are the only pens that should be used when working with the white board. The only other thing that can be used to click around the screen is your fingers.
  • Teachers used to teach with papers but now they prefer smart boards
  • Lessons that used to be to long or unrealistic have now become reality for teachers. Smart boards have made classroom learning fun and easier

Ireland, B. (2009). Smart boards in the classroom. Retrieved from

Amy Ridenour’s Notes
The author of this site is A. M. Ouwehand, and they begin by explaining that a smart board is a piece of technology that displays what is on a computer onto a board for the students to see. Ouwehand explains that with a smart board, operations can be performed directly on the whiteboard in front of the class, instead of the teacher having to stay behind the computer. In addition the author also indicated specific tools that a teacher can use with the smart board to make teaching more convenient. These tools include; a spotlight, screen shader, and magnifier, which all used to make instruction easier for the students. Ouwehand also gave several disadvantages to the smart board. The author explained that the smart board is not ideal for large classes, because the display is not very large. In addition, the smart board requires additional software to be bought, so cost can be high.
Ouwehand, A. M. Smartboard. 2010.

The author of this site is Dr. Mary Ann Bell, a professor from Texas. In this article Bell explains that the smart board enables students with varying learning abilities and to thrive. The smart board is ideal in classrooms of all learning levels, because student s respond well to the smart board. Bell also explains that the interactive board enables teachers to do demonstrations and visuals while keeping the classes attention. Bell also says the smart board is great for lessons that involve students using worksheets. Through the smart board students are able to visualize what the teacher is telling them. Through this, instruction becomes more efficient. Furthermore, the smart board holds the students attention and this means that the students’ attention is focused on the teacher, instead of the other students. Through Bell’s paper one is able to get a better understanding of the smart board and the benefits of having a smart board in the classroom.
Bell, Mary Ann. Why Use an Interactive Whiteboard? A Baker’s Dozen Reasons! 2002.

Laura Smalling begins her article by explaining that chalkboards, blackboards, and overheads are now outdated. Unfortunately, most classrooms in the United States these are the extent of technology in the classroom. In recent years the smart board has began to become more popular, it is an interactive white board. The smart board is connected to a projector and computer, which enables the teacher to control the board through touch. This means that the teacher only has to touch the screen instead of going back and forth from the computer. Smalling writes, “Smartboard can be used to show movies, powerpoint presentations, and websites, but it also comes with Smart Notebook Software that can be used to enhance lessons.” The notebook software simplifies lesson plan making for the teacher, and makes it simpler to add pictures and interactive worksheets. Furthermore, handwritten notes can be converted to print. Smalling also points out that it is important to allow the students to use the smart board, and vary what is being taught on the smart board to keep students interested. Smalling demonstrates the importance of current technology in the classroom.
Smalling, Laura. Get Smart! Smartboards in K-3 Classrooms. Oct. 2008.

Abigail Rawlings’ Notes
1. Boards get brains, chalk vanishes
-The Smart Board allows students to sketch their answers directly on the board. As they do so, they are saved as separate files on the teacher’s computer.
-Because the system works like a computer, most teachers have little problem picking up where they have left off right away.
-"It really helps with motivation," said Eliza Bang, the class teacher. "As a platform for encouraging group work, it's amazing."
-Interactive whiteboards can be found in more than 150,000 U.S. classrooms, adopted by schools in New York, San Diego, Miami-Dade County and the rest of the nation's 25 largest school districts.

Cohn, D. (2005). Boards get brains, chalk vanishes. Wired, Retrieved from

2. Ten ways to get smart with smart board
- Ideas can be dragged, dropped, and grouped on the Smart Board. You can also extend the page to add more notes to the same pages, or insert blank pages. Text written with the pen can then be converted to type-written text to print out for students as a study guide.
- Educational games such as Jeopardy can be played on the Smart Board. The students can chose their topic and dollar amount by touch the Smart Board screen.
- The Smart Board makes an easy to manipulate flannel board for use with younger students.
- The Smart Board allows you to do click and drag activities, called electronic worksheets that help the students review concepts.
- The Smart Notebook software for Smart Board includes some templates of graphic organizers such as Venn Diagrams which are great for comparing and contrasting.
Price, A. (2006). Ten ways to get smart with smart board. Tech&Learning, Retrieved from

3. Smart board chalks up success
-The interactive whiteboard is like a dry erase board in that students and teachers can write lessons on it, and the rest of the class is able to see.
-Lessons can be saved on the Smart Board, and any information from a laptop can be projected onto the board.
-Smart board also has the ability to record sound. It can record an entire lesson from a teacher, and when the play button is pressed, the lesson with be replayed word for word.
-It also has optical character recognition (OCR). With this, students can print or write in cursive on the board and it will recognize it and put it right into a word processor document.

Smart board remembers every word. (2005). SMART, Retrieved from
US/ About+Us/News+Room/SMART+in+the+Media/2005.htm?guid={9B3A1D79-DA3A-408C-B78D-37ACEEAC64E0}

Amy Ridenour, Alisha Roberts, Abigail Rawlings
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