March 13

Take a Step Back

“The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher.”
Elbert Hubbard

Attending Tatnall SMART Board Users Conference this weekend, I was watching one presenter teach us how to create games on interactive white boards. She enticed the students, in this case they were all adults who are teachers that tend to be apprehensive to volunteer, with a rubber tipped pointer in the shape of a finger. The presenter never had an issue finding a volunteer because she was giving away a prize. The student, in turn, did all the work for her. She took a step back from the stage and then a student led the lesson. Directions were given, but the students did have an idea of where certain items were found in the program so they were always within a half step of the goal. However when the student was uncertain of the location, she attempted to find it herself or her “classmates” helped her. This scenario is no different than any classroom-even though these students may be much older than your students.

What if that occurred in your class? What if you picked one lesson this week and instead of you standing in front of the room the student did? The student was the one who touched the board during the whole lesson instead of you. The projector, computer and board are on but the person making the curriculum come alive is not you.

How would you do it? What would the kids teach? What would the skill be?

Question 1: What program would you use? Children love pictures and adding text so give them a list of programs that offer this. Many interactive white board programs offer this. You could also use Publisher, Kidpix, Inspiration/Kidspiration or free websites such as, or Prezi.

Question 2: How do you teach the kids the technology skills? Give them a short introduction of “how-to”s. Once they learn the basics of where things are they will venture out on their own. If your aren’t comfortable teaching the technology, ask your IT for help.

Question 3: What skill will they teach? Start with something they are interested in. Choose something that can easily be explained through visuals.

Question 4: How will the kids know what to do? Start with one skill. Teach one skill is a reasonably boring way. Ask the students to develop a more creative way to present the information. Give them a time limit and a set of parameters of what needs to be created. Leave enough room  for the students to expand on the skill.

Finally, allow them to showcase their way of teaching the skill.

“The best way to learn is to do; the worst way to teach is to talk.”
Paul Halmos

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Posted March 13, 2013 by jkuzma in category Uncategorized

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