TORONTO, CANADA--Blossom Learning’s Online SMART Board Course has successfully extended and amplified face-to-face SMART Board training at the Red Hill Elementary School in Honolulu, HI.
Thanks to an interactive technology grant, Jensen Ball, Red Hill’s Technology Specialist, was able to purchase and install SMART Boards in all of the school’s general education classrooms during the 2009 school year. Following the installations, Ball realized many of the boards were not being used to their full potential, as many teachers had little experience using the SMART technology in the classroom.
“To help provide the teachers with training for the boards, I attended SMART Training courses, and began organizing school-wide training sessions,” Ball explained. “However, it became apparent that these face-to-face training sessions were helping the teachers, but many issues still needed to be addressed. Scheduling training sessions that accommodated the schedules of 40 educators was difficult, and while the large group sessions were able to provide the basic information needed to use the boards in a larger capacity, individualized attention was still lacking and disparity in proficiency-levels continued.”
Ball sought a solution that would allow teachers to supplement the face-to face instruction he was providing in a personalized manner, and when he was introduced to Blossom Learning’s “Online Applied SMART Board Course”, he realized this was the ultimate solution. Courses were purchased for all of the Red Hill teachers in the general education classrooms with the installed SMART Boards, and the initial results are fantastic.
“The Blossom course allows the teachers to go through their training on their own schedule, whether they have time before the school day or during their prep-time,” Ball said. “Furthermore, teachers can take the course while sitting with the SMART Board, practicing as Blossom explains the tools and functions, something they cannot do while sitting in the auditorium as I explain the technology.” Additionally, the teachers appreciate the individualized attention the course is able to provide. They are able to rewind segments that need to be repeated for clarification and mastery, and the are able to complete the course at their own pace, without worrying about holding up the progress of the others taking the course.
“We are thrilled that Blossom Learning has brought such successful results to the Red Hill Elementary School educators,” said Paul Weatherhead, general manager of Blossom Learning. “When we developed the Online SMART Board course, we set out to create a movement that would transform the way SMART Boards are used in the classroom. To hear of such successes helps to validate our belief in the Online SMART Board Course as a truly creative and affordable way to amplify and extend the effectiveness of every school’s current face-to-face training programs. ”