My SMARTBoard is Currently Misused as a Glorifed Whiteboard


I just realized how much I don’t know about using my SMARTBoard.  I essentially use it as the title indicates — a glorified whiteboard.  Oh, it’s great.  I save notes.  I can use them to help students supplement their own notes or download notes if they’re absent.  But I’m certainly not using it to its capacity.  I have to admit the reason is that I don’t know how.

I downloaded a SMARTBoard lesson from the SMARTBoard Lessons Podcast, and it was amazing — I think I can even use it as is in one of my classes.  But I couldn’t have figured out how to create what Ben and Joan created.  I feel frustrated by my lack of knowledge, but I’m going to try to rectify it.  One thing I did was download the SMARTBoard notebook software on my Mac, so I can play with it at home.  I also searched for tutorials, but the ones I found were fairly basic — I already know how to save notes, change my handwriting into text, and pull pictures into the notebook using the gallery or copy/paste.  I had tried to use the recorder without much success in the past, but I found this video that explains the process really well:

Does anyone know of any other sources for SMARTBoard tutorials?  I am looking to learn how to use this tool to its fullest capacity.

11 thoughts on “My SMARTBoard is Currently Misused as a Glorifed Whiteboard”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your dilemma. It's great to hear that you're striving to do more with your SMART Board.

    One of my biggest arguments against buying this technology for our entire district (as if a classroom teacher actually had control over this) is that most teachers will either not use them or use them exactly like they use their current white boards. You're making me wonder how right I am, so thanks for that.

    Since I'm not a user, I don't have a ton of information. I scoured our district's tech links on Delicious and found a couple of sites that may be of use to you:

    It looks like there are a lot of other resources tagged "smart board" on Delicious if you want to look there. Hope this helps, and keep on truckin'!

  2. Thanks for the great links. I found another one I shared in my Delicious, but will also link here in the comments: 60 Sec Tech. There are short tutorial videos (most appear to be on SMARTBoards, but there are other topics, too). I learned how to use the magic pen tonight, so I'm on my way. I think what I could really use is a class.

  3. Another good place to get video tutorials is YouTube or TeacherTube. Type in Smartboards in the search box and there is a video for most of the Smartboard tools.

    Join the SMART Board Revolution Ning at This is a place to post questions, share ideas and files, and tips and tricks from SMART Board users around the world.

    There is even a MAC training file on how to use the SMART Notebook at

  4. I'm in agreement with thehurt on arguing against the purchase of SMARTboards for entire schools/districts. It just seems like that chunk of money could be used towards technology that is more student empowering.

    IF (that's a big if) districts would be willing to pay for extensive training along with the purchase of SMARTboards, then I'd be much more willing to go along with it. Instead it tends to be, "Oh, here are some SMARTboards. Have fun!"

    @DanaHuff: Glad to hear you're trying to expand your knowledge on SMARTboards. If you've got it, you might as well try to use it to its potential!

  5. Hey!

    I was given a Smartboard without any training but took it upon myself to go to one this summer offered by the NYC DOE. I learned quite a bit more than I had originally figured out! So, I would agree. A class is definitely the best way to go!

    Good Luck!

  6. Our district's Technology Dept. offers Smart Board training on a variety of levels. Would your school or district offer something similar?

  7. My district DOES offer continuing education to show teachers effective ways to use the board, but not many of them implement them in the classroom ("not enough time") I view it as if the district bought a new series…they would find the time to prepare lessons for it!

    Anyway, I have found the best info just looking around online. Not only do I find new ways to use things I already know, but I also find things that I know I can make work in my room. I am especially fond of and

    Good luck on making your SmartBoard an EFFECTIVE part of your teaching!

  8. also check out – a bunch of great teacher created lessons, interactive files, tutorials, and more all related to using SMART Boards.

    And yes, to everyone – all this hardware whether it is SMART Boards or other technology, content, programs, etc are worthless with out PD & Training… good training goes a long way to actual use of the hardware investment.

  9. PDToGo is a great podcast run by members of my school board. We are almost completely SMARTBoarded (new verb?) as a disctrict and offer 2-3 workshops a year for professional development. I have presented at a few of these and find the same problem you have outlined.

    You are further ahead than you realize when you mention SMART recorder and changing writing into text.

    Although I don't have any tutorials, I do offer ways in which I use the SMARTBoard at my blog.

    <a href="” target=”_blank”>
    -Hope this helps!

  10. I'm in the process of putting together a site for a colleague who's going to do a workshop for his staff on using the SMART board. I've found numerous tutorials and would love to share with you. I'm still in the research stage but I should have some links ready in a few days. Email me if you're interested.

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