Mason’s use of technology

This is a really interesting video.

Think about how technology can help individuals to develop both skills and confidence

See the SMART table at the BETT Show from 21st-24th January 2015

Richard Smith (blog author)


The SMART table and Autism

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Most classes that we teach will have at least one student who is on the autistic spectrum. This means that they have impaired development characterized by limited social interaction skills and/or limited verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Autistic students may prefer to learn about facts (a closed situation) rather than about feelings or opinions (an open situation).

The SMART table can be a useful tool in supporting autistic learners to develop their confidence and to try out new skills. One example of this is the use of the ‘popping balloon app’ to encourage

  1. turn taking
  2. cooperation (as the balloons have to be popped in order)
  3. verbal and non verbal communication (including possibly eye contact)


We look forward to your comments and ideas about how the SMARTtable can be used to support autism.


Making the best of technology


Purposeful planning
Helping students to feel confident about using the device
Not being afraid of letting children explore
Listening to language to plan progression activities
Encouraging collaboration (eg through sequencing activities)
Encouraging other staff in school to use the equipment
Training students to be digital leaders
Not being afraid to explore scenarios that are not familiar


Idea sharing

It is key to evaluate how the SMART table projects develop in school. One effective way is to create some video clips and then to analyse these. Here are some useful clips from Billisley Primary in Birmingham.

We discussed how to structure a session. For example, do you model how to use a particular activity or do you encourage students to explore the activity first.

It became clear that students were keen to revisit activities and often enjoyed explaining what they had achieved to others. This in itself helped students to develop their self esteem. Revisiting activities can add sophistication to the activity and can encourage them to find out more.

We have found that it is really useful to observe how students interact and that the fact that 3 or 4 students need to work together to achieve a certain goal then collaboration is required.



Good for one too!

Good for one too!

Posted by Peter Lillington

This pupil in reception at Stifford Clays loves working through activities at his own pace and is rapidly developing skills and confidence. After matching units one by one, next time he had a go at estimating – this looks like a ten block and some units! The automatic feedback let him know that this strategy wasn’t quite right for the new number, so he persevered and counted up the total correctly.


The Language of Cows

The Language of Cows

Post from Peter Lillington

Children in the Nursery at Stifford Clays enjoy time to explore 3D Content from SMART Exchange in a one page Notebook file. There’s a chance to explore the physical/visual relationship, pinching to resize and dragging across the screen. Perfect for developing language of comparison… using the infinite clone tool you can create your own herd!


Content to encourage collaboration

Blog post from Richard Smith

From observing a large number of in-school sessions I have noticed that to get the best out of the table it is vital that teachers download content that encourages collaboration between the students. This generation of ipad, android and windows tablet users need to be given the opportunity to use content that requires them to work together and collaborate.


Collaboration can be seen to be happening in the picture above. Team work is needed in order to load numbered ladybirds on to the carriage of a train that travels around the perimeter of the table.


For older students a range of content can be downloaded or created which requires agreement on the correct answer. In this picture a ‘note pad’ can also be seen that encourages jottings to be made as students discuss the problem and possible answers.

The majority of content content can be downloaded for free from The Smart Exchange.

1. To find appropriate resources quickly change the ‘region’ setting in the top right corner
2. click on ‘file type’ choosing either ‘SMART table applications’ or ‘SMART table activities’ which include a bundle of applications in one activity pack. (see below)

You can adapt and tailor most of the content downloaded to meet the needs of the students.



The SMART table as part of the collaborative classroom.

ITV News featured the SMART table as part of a programme about the growth of collaborative classrooms. Key points are that there is focus on encouraging students to discuss the task and to come up with a solution together. They are said to be swapping their ‘own ideas and knowledge and teaching each other’. The teacher supports the students and guides them to make progress.

The activities seen on the table are using SMART notebook and the free lesson activity toolkit in which you can create interactive and engaging lesson activities. Also featured is a preloaded maths activity that encourages students to cooperate to successfully multiply two numbers together.

Add questions and comments below.


5 Key things


Richard and Beth have listed 5 key things that we have noticed since starting the project. 

Please ask us any questions via the comment box. 

1) Richard – Its really intriguing to step back and observe the students using the table. I’m really surprised by how much IO notice about the verbal and non-verbal behaviour of the children.

2) Beth – I am really impressed with the variety of skills that are being used in a single activity. The children are using their fine motor skills, understanding of technology and use of body language to communicate with others around the table.

3) Richard – I think having a table could be invaluable in training new staff in school. For example the ‘mentor’ can observe the trainee member of staff interacting with a group. To develop the idea further the session could be videoed and watched by other staff. This whole…

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