Last month, in a frantic scramble on a weeknight, I bought a Smarboard lesson for $8 USD. The head salesman from the company, OnBoard Academics, actually contacted me to recommend an annual subscription instead.
The Smartboard lessons have been going great, especially with my Secondary 1 and 3 students. The students are more engaged and stay on good behaviour in order to be selected to interact with the Smartboard. It’s also allowed me to become more familiar with parts of the curriculum I previously was not comfortable with, such as physiology and meiosis. It’s also easy to find the lessons on the site, as you can just type your query in and related lessons will be recommended:
Each lesson also has short animated videos. At first, I didn’t like the simplified animations, but I am realizing more that it helps students focus and listen to the key words. There are no distracting, fast-paced graphics that detract from listening. Since the majority of my students do not speak English as their first language, the clarity and pace of the voice works very well. I even see the kids craning their necks and focused on it! The American accent is also neutral enough that it doesn’t affect us.
The best part are the quizzes at the end of each lesson. They are actually configured for a Smart Response units, or “clickers”, but we don’t have any at our school. I still use the 10 questions – presented as either multiple choice questions or “true or false” – as an exit ticket or a review the next morning. It helps me do a quick assessment of how the class is learning as a whole.
I will definitely be encouraging others to look into using these lessons. The $60 USD was well worth it!