|Each CID pre-k, kindergarten and primary classroom has a large-screen interactive SMARTBoard.||
SMARTBoards at CID
CID students learn through varied channels. Some perform well using auditory skills. Others have strong visual abilities. Yet another group does well with kinesthetic experiences. CID teachers are using an exciting tool — the large-screen computer SMARTBoard — to help foster enthusiasm for learning while capitalizing on each student’s individual learning style. Thanks to a generous bequest from the late Edwin Slye, a CID alumnus, a SMARTBoard has now been installed in every pre-k, kindergarten and primary classroom at CID.
The SMARTBoard is an interactive computer whiteboard that enables the teacher to use her finger in place of a mouse and keyboard. Tools include a spotlight to focus on text, a camera to capture images and text, and handwriting recognition capabilities. In advance of a lesson, the teacher can create a simple or elaborate interactive presentation including information, programs, images, video and sound from infinite resources available on the internet. She can also use a blank SMARTBoard like a clean slate, accessing resources as she goes along.
At CID, SMARTBoards are used to supplement, not replace, curriculum. An example in the primary classroom is the 21st century chart story. Using a digital camera and handwriting recognition, students create stories about their experiences on the SMARTBoard, then print copies to share at home with their families…all in one day! Through the magic of technology, the SMARTBoard turns once dry or cumbersome tasks into exciting ones, helping to encourage learning.
Similarly, in the pre-k and kindergarten, early writers practice writing with their fingers on a vertical platform. Once again, the work is printed so they can share it with their parents.
An important benefit of SMARTBoards is the capacity for teachers to share the materials they make using a simple, accessible folder on a shared drive. At CID, the teachers are developing a SMART speech book, thematic units and a “phonemes for speech” presentation with sound. A growing body of CID teacher-made materials, as well as teacher-recommended commercial educational products, are now available to the entire school with the few clicks of a mouse.
Through the internet, CID is able to connect to the world outside our walls. Students in one primary classroom recently followed a sea turtle race along with other classrooms across the United States. The students watched the progress of their turtles every day on an interactive website. Primary department students also traveled across the world to Egypt, Japan and Mexico via websites, videos, pictures, maps, language sound bytes and text available on the Internet.
Fully preparing deaf children for the mainstream requires integrating technology into daily education. At CID, SMARTBoards are used to enhance the curriculum while the children learn functional computer skills, including gaining vital experience with the internet. Students watch their teachers open files, cut and paste and navigate websites, and then perform these operations themselves.
Through training and exploration, teachers at CID continue to find new ways to integrate SMARTBoard capabilities to enhance the curriculum and take advantage of every child’s strengths. In the process, everyone is becoming more fully engaged in learning.
CID TEACHER COMMENTS
“Having a slide show of pictures and movies on the big screen helps hold my students’ attention while I introduce new vocabulary and concepts of the week.”
“The students love practicing their letters on the SMARTBoard.”
“We play games that involve the students moving pictures from one area of the board to another by dragging them with their fingers. It’s great for math and language activities.”
“I love putting up a website such as Google Earth, or a solar system model that shows the orbits of planets…and then labeling and drawing all over the screen. We also use interactive math sites to explore skills such as sequence patterns and counting money.”