Thanks to a $25,000 donation from PTO, Basswood Elementary students are engaging with two new SMART Tables that will enhance both their 21st technology skills and traditional communication skills at the same time.
Touchscreen SMART Tables look and function a lot like giant computer tablets on portable legs. Up to eight students can engage in activities at a single time on each SMART Table.
“The great thing about SMART Tables is how they build both technology proficiency, communication skills and teamwork,” said Media Specialist Jennifer Perusse. “Because of the nature of many of the activities, students must work together in order to accomplish the goal.”
Activities might include educational games, puzzles, lessons, quizzes and more, that supplement a teacher’s lesson plan. With the touch of a finger, lessons are learned and reinforced in subjects such as art, math, reading and spelling. Activities on the device challenge students to solve problems and often require the students to talk to one another to do so.
Activities can be downloaded from the SMART Exchange website or be custom-made. Perusse is working on creating customized lesson plans based on teacher requests. Perusse has also held special training sessions for teachers to learn how to integrate SMART Table activities into their lessons.
Basswood Principal Patrick Smith was familiar with the SMART Tables and wanted to bring that opportunity to students in the school.
“SMART Tables have the potential to offer some very unique learning opportunities that engage students in a fun way,” said Smith. “We are thankful to the PTO for their support.”
Through fundraising, Basswood PTO donated funds to the school to purchase the two SMART Tables and to remodel a classroom into a Learning Lab. In addition to the SMART Tables, the Lab is outfitted with several science tables and sports a colorful mural. Teachers can sign up to use the Learning Lab for special projects or experiments.