Getting Started with Classroom Techology
Why do I need classroom technology?
- Facilitates lesson planning
Facilitates lesson delivery
Provides access to an endless amount of resources
Improves student engagement
There is a “WOW!” moment in every lesson!
Because it’s awesome, and who doesn’t like awesome?!
How do I get it?
Every classroom is equipped with a Digital Classroom (Dell) or a SMARTboard.
What do I need?
- The hardware (the actual board hanging from the wall, some use it on wheels)
- The attachment with the eraser and all four pens, or just the pen for Dell DC.
- The USB cord that connects from the board to the computer (it looks very similar to a printer one). The Dell DG should be already connected to your computer cart.
- A projector (attached to the wall or one you can place on a cart)
How do I connect to the projector?
If you have the SMARTboard, you’ll need to connect your computer to the projector and make sure it is connected to the board.
If you have the Dell DC, you can either use the computer on the cart or connect yours wirelessly (NOTE: If you connect wirelessly, you won’t be able to use the touch feature of the board; it will work just as a projection screen).
The software (SMART Notebook)
Step-by-step instructions for installation:
- Select the option SMART Notebook Collaborative Learning Software, click “download.”
- Click on the Trial tab (you’ll receive a 90-day trial for the most recent version. Your school may have a key, but it might only work with previous versions. I’ve emailed the IT department to see if we have new keys available, but they said we weren’t going to get any.)
Select your operating system, Windows or Mac, and click “download.”
Once downloaded, click “run.”
When the set-up wizard begins, click “next.”
Select “accept…” and “next.”
Select “next” again for the program location.
Select the box for SMART Notebook and SMART Product Drivers, and click “next.”
Click “finish” when installation is completed.
Restart your computer.
Once installation is completed, find the SMART Notebook icon and open it. This is the most amazing thing invented for education EVER!
If/when your trial expires, you’ll have to uninstall the 15 version and install the 11.4 version. Click on the link below to download the 11.4 version AFTER you have already uninstalled the 15 version. In step 2, select the 11.4 version and download it. Once download is complete and you’re asked to provide a key, copy and paste the key below the link.
If for some reason that key doesn’t work, use this one: NB-AEAAQ-AIE3E-IE9UA-74CSF
This program allows you to write on any part of the screen. It creates an editable window over the desktop and allows you to write, highlight, erase, and do many more things.
This is the document camera. There is an icon on your computer that allows you to display whatever you place under the document camera. You just need to make sure the camera is connected to your computer, and the computer will then be able to display it in a window.
Recording your classes
You can very easily record your classes by selecting the recorder from the side bar on your screen (the one that was installed with the SMART software). It will only record the screen being projected and your voice. I recommend using a pair of wireless headphones with a microphone attached so that your voice can sound clear and you’re able to move around the room. Some classrooms have a microphone and speaker on the ceiling that is connected to the computer, which may work better.
Recording your classes can become a great resource for your students. When you share the video online, your students are able to review what they learned in class and watch it as many times as they need. This also gives the teacher additional help at home because parents are now able to learn with their children and actually help them with their homework. Because the video shows only the computer screen, when students are absent and watch the lesson at home, it gives them a feeling of being in the classroom since it shows exactly what they would see if they were present.
Once you’ve recorded your classes, you can save it to your computer and upload it to your district created YouTube channel, using your district email address and password. Another option is to upload it directly to Edmodo, which is my next cool thing.
Take notes on the recording feature in this space.
This is the best way I’ve found to interact with my students AND parents in safe and very useful website. Edmodo looks very similar to Facebook, so if you use Facebook, this will be very easy for you. If not, no worries, it is very user friendly.
What can use Edmodo for?
Edmodo is a very powerful communication platform for you and your students, as well as other teachers in your team. It is very user-friendly and visually attractive for the students. It works similar to Facebook in regards to sharing files, videos, or just information. It is a perfect site to set up a flipped classroom as well as teacher-designed tutorials.
Edmodo allows you to share various types of resources with your students such as PDF files, pictures, videos (directly from your computer or phone), links to other sites and/or resources, and even allows you to create online quizzes generated using the current TEKS. The great advantage of Edmodo is that it allows students to use their phones or tablets, in addition to a conventional computer, to access any resources or assignments you want them to access, without much difficulty.
Edmodo allows you to create a virtual classroom environment where students can communicate not only with the teachers, but also with each other. This communication outside the classroom can become a very powerful tool since students can help each other understand anything they might be confused about and share information that might be useful for them. Of course, some guidelines for posting, commenting, and replying must be implemented, but once the students understand and follow them, meaningful educational communication is very likely to take place.
As previously mentioned, Edmodo also connects you with other teachers in your school and any other place in the world. Once you’re connected to a particular group, you can access any resources other teachers publicly share, and communicate with people who share your same passion for teaching. You become virtually part of a huge network of teachers who contribute to a rich library of resources and instructional ideas for your students.
How do I get on Edmodo?
Visit Edmodo.com and sign up for free. Our district has a specific code you need to use for our school, when using the school’s Wi-Fi, and that can be found here (Greiner’s code is 7tqt6z).
How do I get my students on it?
Once you’ve created a teacher account, you can begin creating groups for each of your classes, or have one big group for all your students (the first options is preferred and more convenient).
-To create a group, simply click the “+” button next to “groups” under your name.
- You will be prompted to select a grade level, content, and the number of students for that particular group.
-Once your group is created, it will generate a “group code.” You will need this code to give to your students so they can automatically be added to that specific group when they sign up.
-Signing up is very simple for the student as well. They will need to visit Edmodo.com and sign up as students. They will be asked for the group code and student name. They will also be asked to create a username and password. There is an option for their email address, but it’s not required.