Darin Janssen’s Weblog

Smart Training

Last week I attended SMART notebook software level one and two training in Calgary.  It was not the best time to go because I am so busy with school, but it was so worth it in the end.  Except, of course, for all the work I am trying to catch up on now.

I found myself amazed at how many things the software can do which I had not found or figured out yet.  I have spent some time working with notebook software both at the university and during my internship.  I had figured out the basics of how to create a presentation, but it was time consuming.  But then again creating any presentation is time consuming no matter what software you are using.  I have now learned many short cuts to doing things and many things that I did not know could be done.

In the course for level one there was a woman who had not spent any time working with the software.  I could tell that it was hard for her to comprehend the basics let alone the advanced ideas which the other two participants and myself were asking for and figuring out.  The good thing for her was she knew the other two people and they would be able to help her when they returned home to Yellowknife.  I would definitely suggest to anyone who is thinking about taking the training to get into the software and play around before going to the course.  You will get a whole lot more out of your time and money.

The level two course expanded on what were learned the previous day going into all the advanced features the software provides.  And boy does it have some advanced features which I did not have a clue about.  I only hope that I can remember them all.  We spent the entire day learning about a feature and then pushing the limits of the feature.  We experimented and figured things out which my instructor did not know were possible.  If there was something which we thought should be part of the software my instructor wrote it down to put in as a request for the next version of the software.  It was so wonderful that we were able to explore the software together rather then just being shown how it worked and lectured at.  By exploring I am sure we have learned more from the training then the course was originally meant to teach us.

Dean, my ECMP instructor, has asked me to use what I have learned for our teaching portion of the course.  I think it is a great idea to share what I now know with my classmates, but I do not know where to begin.  Before the training I had showed some people how to work the basics, but now I do not know where to begin or where to end.  I am struggling with the idea of either going through and showing all the possibilities quickly with no detail, or show the basic with some detail.  I guess the first thing I should ask is if anyone has any experience using notebook software.  Do you?  Please let me know so I can then decide how to teach it in less then fifteen minutes.

I like the thought of having a smartboard in my future classroom, but the reality is that it may not happen.  Option two for me is the wireless slate and a projector.  Before the training I was going to try to find the money to purchase my own slate because I could see the potential and if fits my teaching style.  Now that I am done my training, I realize that I definitely need to find the money to buy the slate.  The potential for teaching and student learning seems endless.

If you are at all interested in the use of smartboards or any other technologies which SMART offers I would highly recommend taking the software training so you can get the most out of the tools.

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February 1, 2010 Posted by | General | 8 Comments