Changing Lives Using SMART Learning Solutions

This is a story that I have told before, but not here.

For many years, I used to take care of students from other schools, students who just didn’t fit in. It’s probably why I now work as a special education class teacher.

In October 2014, a 10-year-old boy arrived at my school. He came with his mother and the psychologist. The aim was to get the boy physically into my classroom. This didn’t happen the first day – nor the second. Without going into too many details, you could say all his defense mechanisms were turned on. After a few days, though, the boy eventually came into the classroom, drawn inside because we were watching a cartoon on our SMART Board.

Gradually we got the boy to work in the classroom. The next challenge was getting him to work with other students.

In spring of 2015, we started to work with SMART amp. And do you know what? This was probably the best possible way for this boy to collaborate with other students. He has difficulties interacting face-to-face with others because he has difficulty understanding all the subtleties in non-verbal communication. But with SMART amp, he could collaborate without having those kinds of challenges.

The best day I had with this student and SMART amp happened when I looked at his work. When you click on students’ names in amp, you see a frame around the work that the students have done. It’s very handy if you want to check how much everyone did. This time there was a new kind of frame – a double-frame. What I didn’t know is that SMART amp creates that frame when two people work on the same task. For instance, if they edit the same text, the frames of both students appear around the work. One of the frames was of my boy. He was now collaborating with other students.

Since then, I’ve moved on to another school. But I went back to my old class a few months ago. I’m happy to say that the boy is just like everyone else in the class! What a feeling of pride this gave me!

See what SMART amp, part of SMART Learning Suite, can do for your students. 

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Joergen Holmberg
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About Joergen Holmberg

Joergen Holmberg is a SMART Board educator and SMART Exemplary Educator. He teaches special education in Sipoo, Finland and tries every day to combine SMART Technology with spec ed.

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5 thoughts on “Changing Lives Using SMART Learning Solutions

  1. I totally agree with Joergen Holmberg’s experience on how the SmartBoard engages our students to become active participants in the classroom. As an English as a second language teacher I also experienced the opportunity to see how the SmartBoard encreased the particpation of shy and reluctant students at the Lab school of my university . Now my next step is to incorporate the use of the SMART app . I checked out a couple of videos on YOUTUBE and I am really interested in using it in my writing course . I believe it will be a great way to teach my students how to design lessons that will enable and engage students in the writing process in grades K-12. Can’t wait to install and use the app!

  2. I agree- I use smart LAB activities to engage all of my students- even the most quiet and the ones who do not know how to socialize face to face well. These games are fun and fast paced and allow everyone to participate, review material and have fun doing it!

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