Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Using SMARTboards to Enhance Classroom Instruction

In today’s classroom technology is inevitably changing the way we teach. There are countless opportunities to use technology in a classroom setting to engage children in a way that is meaningful to them. As educators, we are always looking for a variety of teaching methods and tools to use so that we can meet the needs of all our students. Using an interactive whiteboard, otherwise known as a SMARTboard, can assist to accomplish this. SMARTboards are large electronic boards that are touch sensitive and controlled by a computer with a digital projector. Educators can project any website or document on the board and make it interactive by using the digital tray that includes pens and an eraser or simply by touching the board. This interactive tool has become increasingly popular. In 1991, SMART Technologies introduced the first SMARTboard and there are 1.6 million used today not only in education but the business world as well. (SMART Technologies, n.d.).

There are many advantages to using a SMARTboard to facilitate your classroom instruction. Instead of your students simply listening to information through a lecture, they can be actively engage in creating their own knowledge. Students can manipulate objects on the board and use the special pens to explain their thinking for the rest of the class. This activity based learning creates a meaningful learning experience for all students.

As an educator, it can sometimes be challenging to get our students to think critically and use higher order thinking skills. One experienced SMARTboard user, Corryann Thompson, believes “The more she can get her students to share, demonstrate and model what they’ve learned to their peers, the more advanced thinking skills they master.” (SMART Technologies, 2007). Using a SMARTboard creates opportunities for students to demonstrate their new knowledge and become more effective communicators.

SMARTboards have also proved to increase motivation and enhance attentiveness. Anna Smith conducted a study on the use of 10 interactive whiteboards in a variety of classrooms in 2000. She found that the staff and 78% of the students reported to have had an increase of motivation when using the SMARTboard. (Smith, n.d.). Reluctant students are often eager to participate and it can help them to build more confidence academically.

There are many interactive SMARTboard games that can be used to get the whole class involved. SMART Technologies provides many games and lessons online, searchable by standard or grade making it very easy to find a lesson to use or modify it to meet your needs. Many of these lessons can provide opportunities for the teacher to reach all students with different learning styles such as auditory, visual, and tactile learners.

Using a SMARTboard for instruction can also be effective to reach students with special needs. Students with attention deficit disorders, ESL students, and students with dyslexia can all benefit from the use of a SMARTboard. SMART Audio classroom audio enhancement systems can also be used in combination with the SMARTboard to allow hearing impaired students to benefit from the SMARTboard activities as well. (Blossom Learning, 2010).

Using a SMARTboards is an effective way for educators to create engaging lessons and achieve a high level of involvement from the students. Students take an active role in creating their own knowledge. It provides many features that students of all ages and learning styles can benefit from. SMARTboards are the technology of today and in the future.


Blossom Learning. (2010). SMARTboards and special needs students. Retrieved from

SMART Technologies. (n.d.). Quick facts and stats. Retrieved from

SMART Technologies. (2007). SMART Board interactive whiteboard facilitates differentiated learning. Retrieved from

Smith, A. (n.d.). Interactive whiteboard evaluation. Retrieved from

Check out this interesting video demonstrating how a SMARTboard can enhance your teaching!


  1. Your blog is wonderful! I can't wait to add more to my own after viewing your gadgets. In response to your posting, using the SMARTboard in my classroom is something I do (or did) weekly with my 5th graders. I now plan to use it in my library to continue to show students and teachers all the perks that come with having one in the classroom. It's useful in that it keeps students focused and it allows them to be hands-on during those lessons. I used the free lessons provided by in my language arts class. The kids love it!

  2. I really like your blog! The great thing about SMARTboards is that they can be used with any age level. My high school students enjoy the interactivity of it just as much as my middle school students did. Today's kids are "digital natives" and technologies like the SMARTboard really help to engage them in their learning. I wasn't aware of the free lessons on Scholastic's website - thanks Amber! I will definitely be checking those out. Great post!

  3. Sara,
    You did a great job creating a blog about SMART boards. I am anxious to purchase one for my library. My students will love being able to interact with the lesson. I have found that any lesson that I incorporate any form of technology in grabs my students attention. I am excited about checking out the lessons that are available for use with the SMART board.

  4. I really enjoyed visiting your blog. Our school recently added SMART boards in every classroom and all of us are trying to learn new ways to use them in our lessons. I find my students very eager to want to interact during the lessons. As you pointed out in your post, that will only enhance their learning benefits. Great job pointing out the positives of using SMART boards!

  5. I really get the feeling that Sara likes SMART boards. Has anyone listened to Sara's podcast? It's really good.

  6. Sara, I absolutely love your blog. If I weren't interested in SMART boards before, I sure would be interested now. SMART boards are actually the new craze out our school. Our technology said that the first teachers to attend SMART board introductory sessions at our campus would not only be trained, but would also be one of the first to get one for their classroom. I missed the first training due to grad school, but I sure scrambled for that second class! Yes! I can barely remember what a learned, being that I only had that one session, but I sure am excited! Good luck in you smart board endeavors.