Interactive Whiteboards Bring Online Learning to Life

Ashford University White Board

A British company called SMART has released an interactive whiteboard that has the potential to transform the classroom.

The SMART BoardTM is an interactive whiteboard that renders chalk and pens obsolete. As with a touchscreen on a tablet or smartphone, teachers use their fingers to write. They can also manipulate different objects on the screen by moving, magnifying, and writing over each image.

If used right, this technology could shift the teacher’s role away from lecture and toward performance. Imagine if you could watch your teacher animate a formula in full color and 3D, how much easier it would be to learn geometry?

Perhaps the best benefit for students is that they never have to scramble to keep up and capture everything in their notes. That’s because everything on the SMART board is digital, so the system can record the entire lesson and email it to students to study later.

In 2010, the University of Valencia installed 11 SMART Boards in their classrooms. According to a recent report, these digital whiteboards made lessons much more dynamic. The Engineering School in Geodesics, Cartography and Surveying reports that students are better able to visualize complex geometric figures.

Teachers don’t have to come up with cool graphics all by themselves. They can delve into SMART NotebookTM software to find materials and best practices that teachers around the world have produced and shared with each other.

Another technology tool that SMART offers is Bridgit® conferencing software. Bridgit allows you to collaborate face-to-face with people around the world. The latest version supports up to nine webcam video streams, making it easy to hold meetings that are visually engaging and interactive. Meeting participants anywhere can work together as if they are in the same room.

Bridgit has proved a powerful tool for online learning, especially for international students who cannot gather in person in a single classroom. And SMART’s technology isn’t confined to the classroom. The applications reach into the world of business, too. Now business professionals are collaborating around the world. And boardroom presentations are coming alive.

Written by: Dana LaFleur
Dana is responsible for selecting, optimizing, and socializing technologies appropriate to the Ashford University learning environment to ensure the students’ learning experience is beyond their expectations. In addition, she serves as the business and academic advocate for the organization’s mobile strategy geared to enhancing the student educational experience through access and increased service.

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