I am really excited about having this. Although they really didn’t think it all through very well. I’m not sure where the money came from for these, but they bought about a dozen or so of them for our school. They didn’t buy them to install on the wall, so they came on legs, no laptops to go with them, and the project wasn’t a good fit for my room. It would probably work in a smaller room, but in order to have the projection fit on the SmartBoard, I would have to cut the distance between the screen and to projector in half and that would put my projector right in the middle of my 30 kids. My personal projector works at this distance just fine. I had to get an extra 15 feet of USB cable to make it reach from the SmartBoard to the laptop. I ran the wires along the top of the bulletin board and the white board on the wall to the side there.
I needed to find a way to really have the projector rock solid stable. Getting jiggled just a little can unsync the projector from the board. So I moved these two filing cabinets out into the room and put a table between the cabinets and the wall. That way the wires can come out to the projector and laptop from the wall without being in a traffic area.
With my sound system (and Ipod dock) attached to the laptop, and the laptop connected to the internet on the wall to the left, I can play DVDs, access the internet, and do other Smartboard activities all from one setup. Today was our first day (it took a couple of hours on Labor Day to get everything set up). We were doing the letter Mm in our Trophies Reading Series, so I used the FrogStreet Press DVD to introduce the letter Mm. The DVD also demonstrates how to write the letters too. I then pulled up a print program that I use to print practice writing for them that can be printed out. We then practiced writing the letters right on the SmartBoard. We also did the same thing in the afternoon with the numbers 4 and 5. I’m the only kindergarten teacher that they gave a SmartBoard to, and I think I got it because I used to be a Tech Specialist and they figured I’d actually use it. I am really excited about the possibilities. There’s still a couple of glitches to iron out. For example, I can access the teacher resources on the Smart website from home on my laptop, but the school firewall seems to block access when connected at school. Something to have my resident tech work on I guess, I no longer have those “rights” now that I’m a classroom teacher.