Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reflections on Interactive Whiteboard Lesson

Interactive whiteboards provide access to a mix of technologies which can greatly assist any presentation in the classroom. While SMART Boards are simply a brand name associated with whiteboard technology, there are some very unique lesson plans available via the web. My specific lesson dealt with a Wisconsin Civil War Soldier and encompassed some of the images associated with our state during 1861-1865. The original lesson was designed in Word format by Michael Edmonds, a Wisconsin native and teacher of high school social studies. I found his outline compelling enough to use specific points of emphasis, and I then added pictures found within documents and other archives at the Wisconsin State Historical Society. I even located a short video which dealt with torture of slaves, further complementing the imagery.
Much of the effort for this project was done on the front end, researching material and then authenticating it with the proper sources. As I noted in the dropbox comments section, to some this presentation may appear as a glorified PowerPoint version, but there are enough of those little "extras" with whiteboard technology which can be used to "pull out" or highlight components of individual slides.
I appreciated the feedback provided by my colleagues, whether it was noting a small error in dates or telling me it was a project worth completing. I often need that input, be it good, bad or indifferent, to take take it to completion. Whiteboards will definitely be used in my classroom (should they be available). They WILL NOT serve as just a chalkboard, but rather as a tool to captivate the attention and further engage my students.

REVISION: I never assume any project is completed until it's been signed off on, and I appreciate when someone advises me that it falls short of what was expected of me. This is a sign that someone is concerned about my professional standards, and I should never feel threatened by this. This is what makes-or-breaks the best of any it doctor, lawyer, professional athlete or educator. And yes, it's a chore to go back and rectify the mistake....but if someone took the time to recognize my shortcomings, why wouldn't I want to correct it? I applaud people who take such a stand, and I strive to excel at what I do!

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