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Ideas for Using the SMART Board
  • Brainstorming & Graphic Organizers
  • Interactive Sites & Games edheads/gamegoo
  • Show Videos (United Streaming)
  • Click and drag activities
  • Interactive Worksheets
  • Presentations, music lessons, digital slide shows
  • Lectures and teaching, especially math
  • Bring up a map and show a route and have the students describe using directions
  • Create a class quilt about each person - Who I am
  • Create digital portfolios
  • Save lessons to present to students who were absent
  • Teach computer skills and keyboarding
  • Write stories and proofread them as a group
  • Do daily language on Smart Board. Have kids come up and make changes using editing and proofreading marks. Also use highlighter tool to highlight nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
  • Illustrate and write a book. Use the recorder feature
  • Use the "record" feature to make a short movie to demonstrate steps in doing something
  • Use for a substitute ~ prepare a lecture and/or training sessions for students
  • Science - creating a diagram of a cell, electrical circuit, water cycle, etc. Create a slide show where each component is added, labeled and put as a separate slide so you can build something in sequential steps. Then save to computer for review or information for kids who were absent or need review 
  • Reading - Put passage on screen and have kids mark key information for discussion or better understanding of passage
  • You can hook up a VCR to the SMART Board and view movies
  • Grammar practice - write words that make a sentence. Scramble the words and have the kids choose words to make their own sentences
  • Write a daily newsletter article with students. We discuss what we learned that day and write a paragraph about it. Students use the on-screen keyboard to help with writing the article Add digital camera pictures, clipart, etc. At the end of each week, print the newsletter and students take it home.

Ten tips for starting out with interactive whiteboards by Penny Ryder
Penny Ryder is a primary school teacher in the ACT. She maintains the Teaching Challenges blog at
1.Turn it on at the start of the day.

If it’s not on, you won’t use it. To save the life of the globe, you can
turn the projector off when it’s not being used, but I recommend turning
the computer on early in the day. While you are doing that, orient the
board to ensure your touches will be accurate. Once you’ve got it on, you
know you can turn to it at any time during the day just as you would to a
traditional whiteboard. Even better, you can use it to ‘Google’ topics
relevant to your content, or reward early finishers with a game. Why not
start out the day by typing in a message for your students, giving them a
brain teaser or displaying a great artwork. They can be learning from
this while you attend to a myriad of administrative duties. Think of how
much extra learning you could cycle through in all that downtime between

2.Explore with your class.

Don’t be intimidated by ‘the board’. Its capacity is only limited by its
user; it’s not smarter than you. Feel free to play and learn alongside
your students. While it’s always nice to be a couple of steps ahead of
them, a lot of great learning moments also happen when you discover
things together. Your students will most probably laugh when you
accidentally write while holding the eraser and thus don’t write at all,
but laugh along with them and keep on going. When things go wrong and you
need to troubleshoot, ask for their suggestions one at a time and try
them out. This teaches them how to solve the problems they face. Also be
prepared to go with Plan B when you’ve exhausted all your ideas.

3.Be prepared.

It doesn’t have to be pretty—but it can be! You can invest a lot of time
into designing pages with your interactive whiteboard, or once you are
aware of what’s there, you can use it on the go. I’m of the opinion that
I shouldn’t spend more time creating the lesson than teaching the lesson,
particularly if I’m unlikely to use the lesson again. If, on the other
hand, there are some core activities that you would like students to do
or access as part of their weekly routines, it’s probably worth investing
some time into making these look attractive.

4.Select the tool for the job.

Keep in mind that your interactive whiteboard is linked to a computer
that probably has a bunch of new and exciting software on it. Spend time
getting to know the available software. Learn what it does and what it
could be used for. Your goal, over time, is going to be to model how to
use this software as you go about teaching your content. For example, if
you need to create a graph, you don’t want to draw the graph from
scratch. Instead, type the data into a Microsoft Excel document and show
students how to create a graph in this way. With the same data you can
explore and demonstrate different ways to present data using alternative
graphing functions to determine which is best for presenting specific

5.Think out loud.

Just as we model our reading and writing so that students can see how
readers and writers solve problems with their work, it is important to
model your use of information and communications technology (ICT). Talk
through the steps you take when using a program. Students then have the
opportunity to both see and hear the process. Inform them of the short
cuts you use, for example Control +C for copy and Control +V for paste.
The more you model these options for them, the more proficient they will
become when using their computers.

6.Be playful.

Using computer games in the classroom can be a strategy to ‘get started’,
particularly when beginning a new topic, but be selective about the games
you choose. Be mindful of what students are learning through them. If you
are using them only to engage your students in the topic you are
covering, then only use them for five to ten minutes. Most games are for
one or two players, so in order to keep everyone focused, I select a
variety of students to take turns. For those students not having a turn,
I get students to write the answers with their finger on the carpet in
front of them or on individual whiteboards. Another solution is to use
the interactive whiteboard as a group activity so that students explore
the game in smaller groups. This strategy can be used as a reward and
also for consolidating a concept.

7.Display different media.

Make the most of online media to bring the world into your classroom.
Spend some time finding photographs, audio files, videos, websites and
interactive activities related to your topic. The edna website
(, and The Le@rning Federation
( are great places to start for
educational resources, but don’t forget to check out other public spaces
like YouTube (, TeacherTube ( and
Flickr ( for additional resources shared by the public.
You will need to test whether these sites are blocked in your school.


Your interactive whiteboard is going to be a big part of your day. Spend
some time personalising it to suit your needs. Think about what you are
already doing with your teaching and consider how the interactive
whiteboard can help you to do this more effectively. If you need software
that isn’t available, speak to your technical administrator to see what
can be done. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Be sure to put
photos of your students up on the board too—they love to see themselves
on the big screen and it helps to build that positive classroom

9.Increase student touches.

Consider ways to involve students in what is happening at the board. Yes,
the interactive whiteboard is costly, and yes, it will probably get dirty
if students use it, but it’s not truly interactive if the teacher is the
only one to use it! Encourage students to be creative and to share their
ideas using this tool.

10.Plug in some extras.

Use your USB ports. There are many tools you can attach to your
interactive whiteboard computer to upload information. Take photos with a
digital camera and use these to reflect on learning moments. Use a webcam
set up on a lamp stand or with a science clamp to function as a document
camera. Scan a student’s writing (with permission) and use it as a
discussion piece for modelling a skill or understanding.
Using an interactive whiteboard may be new to you, but it doesn’t need to
be hard. Remember to set goals for yourself and take small steps to
achieve these. Before long, you will become so familiar with it that you
will wonder how you ever taught without it. Experiment. Explore. Enjoy!


Customizing the SMART Toolbar
Add a Help Information Button
Creating and Applying Themes

Inserting Flash Files Into the Notebook
Setting a Default Font
Using the Screen Capture Tool

Using a Floating Mouse
SMARTBoard Tutorials
Color & Object Animation to make neat reveals

Video Tutorials
Save Sound File and Insert Into Notebook
Customizing the Random Number Generator
Using the Smart Screen Capture Tool
Change Color of Image
Coloring in a Freehand Image
Customizing the Notebook Toolbar
Wichita's Video Tutorials  (scroll down)
Video on Using PowerPoint