Monday, August 20, 2007

Smart Institute 2007

Last week, Wayzata Public Schools hosted the Smart Institute from Smart Technologies. It was a great conference with presenters from around the U.S. and Canada. The keynote speakers were Ben Hazzard and Joan Badger from Canada. They are the hosts of a great podcast called pdtogo.com. I highly recommend listening to it for great Smartboard ideas. They spoke about the stages of implementation. I liked the development from starting with what you know, playing with premade lessons, then creating your own lessons with websites and gallery objects. Next, comes student involvement in activities and finally is collaboration. This is helpful to me to know that teachers need time to move through these stages. While I want to see rapid development, I need to make sure that teachers have time to play around with premade lessons and get used to the tools before the jump into the later stages. They also shared a lot of great resources including voicethread, gapminder, swivel, and keepvid. I'll be adding these sites to my linkagogo site so others can find them easily.

I also got to see some great presentations! Chris Klein from Smart did a great job showing how to use iLife with Smart to create some great activities. Matt Oswald from Stillwater presented on using the Smartboard in math. I loved how he used the TI Smart View Calculator and used the Smart Recorder to record examples of how to solve some complex equations for students. Kim Hoehne and Lisa Carlson from Minnetonka presented on Smart Science. I was impressed with how they are using video to bring real world examples of science into their classroom. I hope to do more of this.

There was so much to see and learn. I enjoyed talking to so many people about their ideas and concerns as we move forward with implementing Smartboards throughout our district. I look forward to working with all of you this year as we learn about how these tools can transform our classrooms!

Ben and Joan's Keynote Chris Klein

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