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Smart Technologies User Group

July 4, 2011

Last week we had the second set of Smart Technologies User Group meetings. In this set of  meetings the aim was to demonstrate effective use of interactive whiteboards for teaching and learning, in rooms with one board and in the Learning Innovation Rooms that have 5 interactive white boards per room.

I did one session at Paragon (PC804) Learning Innovation Room and one session at St Mary’s Road (TC402) Learning Innovation Room. Unfortunately nobody turned up for the Paragon one but I had 7 people to the SMR one.

At SMR, after initial introductions I demonstrated the Interactive WhiteBoard software NoteBook. Using the Pens, drawing tools, eraser, text, adding slides, pasting pictures, rotating, converting handwriting to text, cloning/copying to different slide, adding slides etc.

It was discussed that this software was equivalent to PowerPoint but supported the white board tools better and in Paragon the set up enables the tutor to have a different slide on each white board for students to work on in groups. This is not possible at with Powerpoint or at SMR (because of limitations of the staff PC in TC402) unless you have a laptop set up on each table. This I had planned to do but the laptops did not connect to the interactive white board for each table so we had to use one white board, the staff one.

The groups then attempted, one group at a time, to do an activity where they have to use the interactive white board to fill in the blanks on a slide. This worked well but would been better if both groups could do it at the same time.

I then demoed 2 interactive learing objects (Calculating Gradient of a straight line and Chi-Squared calculator). Steve Jones suggested Dynamic Learning content would also be good for this the he uses in Catering.

We then used the Notebook software to build a mind map of uses of an interactive white board in Teaching and Learning.

I asked any suggestions to promote use of these techniques:

Suggestions were:

– Create a quick user guide to Notebook software and the interactive white board tools.

– Have Notebook software put on all staff PCs.

– Use Webinar software UStream/Skype/Wimba

– Use Jing to record screen

– Contact Steve Jones to see Dynamic Learning content learning objects that use drag and drop to see how well they could be used on an interactive white board.

I then demoed the PebblePad app and show how I could photograph the room and instantly upload the photo to my PebblePad blog or add an activity.

I also demoed the Blackboard iPad app that was well received by the members of the group but were disappointed when told that this was not currently available because we have not got the licence for it.

The next meeting will be in September/October which will include a repeat of the demo of using an interactive white board for teaching and learning. It was also briefly discussed at the end that the session could be renamed Innovative Use of Technology for Teaching and Learning seminar series.

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