We are at a day and age where public and private school classrooms are embracing technology it is important for home educators to know that they need not be left in the dust.
Sure, many of you have figured out the great uses of apps from iTunes that prove useful as teaching tools on the iPad, iPod touch and even the iPhone and even that Android is evolving in their educational app choices available in the marketplace.
For many home educators though, the technology in the classroom does not often go beyond computer programs, online curriculum or apps. I shared previously how you can make your own interactive whiteboard for use in your home school for under $50 if you are just the slightest bit handy and tech savvy.
If you are not able to make your own interactive white board, you can still benefit from many of the lessons and presentations designed for them on your PC or tablet PC. They become even more interactive for the student if you have touch capable PC.
Let’s run through the different type of interactive whiteboard technology out there and what you can actually use at home without dishing out the big bucks.
SMART Tech is the company that makes the SMART Board along with the amazingly neat Smart Table Interactive Learning Center. I’ve already told you can make your own interactive whiteboard and even though you may be salivating over the interactive table like me, really it is just a big tablet filled with interactive lessons designed to serve as a learning center.
While the price of the technologies is probably above the budget of 95% of the homeschooling population you can still gain access to the SMART Exchange where you will find interactive resources sorted by subject, grade and file type.
Unless you have the SMART Tech software you should avoid much of what is offered, but you will find that they list over 400 interactive websites that are interactive whiteboard ready for you. A much easier search than looking through Google. Available websites in the listing come from websites such as Scholastic and Thinkfinity.
*If you download the free software from Promethean you can import downloaded SMART notebook files and use them!
One look at the prices for the Promethean ActivClassrooms may leave you clearing your throat. As the company is quickly taking ranks with SMART. The great thing about Promethean though is their expansive library of interactive lessons and resources both professionally made and teacher created at Promethean Planet.
Just a small sampling of the resources available:
- Eyewitness ActivPack - Volcano
- Cardiovascular System
- Core Math, Geometric Shapes, Lesson 7.1 Similarity of Shapes
- British Poetry Resource Pack
- Couplets and Stanzas
- Telling Time
- National Geographic Collection
- Houghton Mifflin Collection
You will need to download the FREE PERSONAL EDITION of their software to run many of the resources, but it is worth it and a MUCH better offer than SMART has out there for home educators.
Of course, there are many other interactive whiteboard makers and tons of resources to use with them out there, including one of my new favourites, those available for purchase at Lakeshore Learning (we have the Letter of the Day activity for independent time for my girls.) Now that you know how easy it is to get your hands on these great resources even you do not have an interactive white board go give it a try, I’m sure you and your kids will love it.
If fact, I bet you will be saving your money to get a new Dell Inspiron Duo like me to take full advantage of Smart Board lessons in your home school.