SMART Love of Learning Blog Tour | Toronto Teacher Mom

SMART Love of Learning Blog Tour

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It was roughly 20 years ago when I gave a Christmas card to my grade 6 French teacher. In the message, it mentioned that she was my inspiration and that one day I would be a French teacher, just like her. And here I am, a French teacher! Only not quite like her. She managed to be an inspiring teacher of a not-so-easy second language and she did so in a time where computers were only just popping up in the classrooms. She taught us in a time where we still prepared worksheets by writing them out by hand. She enlightened us with music on cassette tape, hand designed poster boardgames, and chalk on chalkboard. When she tripped over the recycling box as she was walking backwards to show us something on the board and fell right into it, she got right back up, laughed along with the rest of us and continued onward and upward. She made learning fun and that's not easy when you're learning a new language. In my opinion, she ranked among the best of teachers and I would like to include her in this shout out to all my favorite French teachers of the past: Mme Di Liberto, Mme Ironberg, M. Roberto, Mlle Gallo and Mme Bolton. Votre patience, votre passion et votre amour de l'apprentissage m'ont impressioné beaucoup et pour toujours. Vous êtes vraiment formidables! 

Today, teaching has taken on a whole new look. Blackboards are becoming whiteboards, audio cassettes are now on CD or in mp3 format and overhead projectors are being replaced with LCD projectors. Our world is no longer complete without some form of remarkable technology touching our lives in some way and on a daily basis. To think of all the advancements made in my lifetime alone, it's astonishing. Never did I imagine I could get my students up off their chairs in excitement over a computer screen brought to life. And that's what happened today.

Today was a first of many exciting days to come.

Today I used a SMART Board!

Never in a million years would I believe that I could stand in front of a class of intermediate students and watch them ALL gaze intently as a fellow classmate raced against the clock to conjugate a verb in the passé composé. Never! I mean, everyone was watching! Including myself. It was so incredible to witness 12 and 13 year old kids manipulate this amazing piece of technology as if it were second nature to them, when for some it was their first time. Do you have an idea what this SMART Board is? Sit back and watch this video showing what you can do with it and why it's so easy to use, because really, my explanation won't do the SMART Board any justice.

So there you have it, an interactive whiteboard that incorporates hands-on learning and interactive technology that is captivating and easy to use. You can use it as interactive word wall, a video screen, a game board, the possibilities are virtually endless. Basically, whatever you can do on your computer and through the internet, you can do using the SMART Board in conjunction with their software and make it all interactive to suit your needs. It's a teacher's dream come true!

That is why I take great pleasure in bringing to you the SMART Love of Learning Blog Tour care of Mom Central Canada. If you are a parent and you are interested in raising funds towards a SMART Board for your child's school, visit the SMART Love of Learning Facebook page and click on the ToolKit tab to access some useful tips to help get you started. And while you're there, why not enter their contest to win a SMART Board for a school of your choice? All you need to do is share a short story about someone who instilled a love of learning in you. You can also tweet about and share the link on Delicious for a couple of extra entries, too! Not on Facebook? Not a problem. Visit the SMART Love of Learning website and you can enter there as well as access the tool kit.

Our school only has one SMART Board to use with a potential 650+ students but logistically, it doesn't work so well. So the more you have, the better, right? I just completed my second workshop to learn more about how we can use it in the classroom and I have decided to make it a mission to use it in all of my nine classes and give an opportunity to each of the 200+ students I teach to use the SMART Board by the end of this year. I know that doesn't give me a lot of time but I am so excited about what it's capable of and I really want my students to share in the excitement. Wouldn't you?

Before I sign off, I want to share with you a really creative stop motion YouTube video which illustrates how SMART Technologies is making it easier for us teachers to inspire a love of learning in our students. Watch for all of the elements of nature and real-life objects that can spark creativity and enliven your imagination. Here it is - SMART Love of Learning.

Disclosure: This post was written as part of a Mom Central blog campaign. I will receive a gift card as a thank you for participating. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own honest opinions and have not been influenced in any way.

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  1. We have SMART Boards in five of our eight classes and they are FANTASTIC! I don't know how I ever taught without one. There is something to be said for regular pencil and paper tasks, and the fact that we shouldn't have to constantly entertain kids in order for them to learn, but few things have proven as motivational as this technological tool.


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