It’s no secret that the face of education has changed dramatically over the past ten years or so. As teachers, we are working hard to instill within students the skills needed for success in the 21st century. In addition to instilling in students the flexibility to readily adapt to changing technologies, we are also learning to create an environment that encourages critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, global awareness, and social responsibility. With the help of in-classroom technologies, such as SMART interactive white boards, this seemingly daunting challenge has become quite obtainable.
RMS classrooms have been equipped with laptops and SMART interactive white board technologies that not only combine the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of the worldwide web, but also allow us teachers to deliver dynamic lessons, write notes in digital ink, and save our work – all with the simple touch of a finger! Today’s students were born in the age of the Internet. The vast majority of today’s generation is typically more technologically savvy than their elders, and to connect with these kids, we must learn to speak their language by engaging them with the technology that is second nature to them. Integrating technology within the learning environment means tapping into students’ interests, and facilitating their technical skills, all while providing enriching learning opportunities. Hence, the critical need for educators to upgrade and embrace the new environment!
Gone are those days when we used board notes and text books to explain a concept, idea, or process; now we have SMART technologies with its interactive tools to aid our endeavor to differentiate our instruction in order to meet the multiple intelligences and learning styles of each student. We can present information, have students engage with that information, and have them express their learning in multiple ways with best practices to integrate technology into the classroom. With SMART interactive white boards, a Social Studies teacher can introduce the concept of latitude and longitude using an informational text from the internet, move to an interactive grid of latitude and longitude for students to manipulate, display the home of the toucan to investigate living things within particular geographical coordinates, and poll and collect data in real-time on students’ understanding of the lesson by using a student response card system. The possibilities are truly endless!
One thing is certain, RMS’ continuous integration of in-classroom technologies has made for engaging, relevant, and meaningful teaching and learning experiences for both students and teachers alike.