The study aims to explore the reality of the use of the smart board (SB) for teaching in Al Gheran area public schools, in Misrata. At the same time to show the most important features of the SB, and recognize the most prominent obstacles faced by teachers in schools with SB. The study adopts a quantitative research approach characterized by a questionnaire including 14 items. Forty teachers of primary and preparatory school responded to these questionnaire items. The data were analyzed by SPSS version 20, and then provides a set of recommendations and proposals to activate the use of the SB for teaching in Libyan public schools.
The study reaches several results:
- No supply or installation of the SB in Libyan public schools, despite their importance for the educational process.
- A number of modern generation of the SB (6) had been installed in some of the Libyan public schools of Al Gheran Education Office area, by self-help and cooperation of students’ parents or a charity.
- Those SBs were used in most of the schools, only for teaching English or for presentation of some videos in some scientific subjects materials (biology - physics).
- The most important features of the use of the SBs from the point of view of teachers:
The SB is an effective way of teaching, and it attracts the students by writing electronically in all colors and sizes using writing tools on the SB program instead of writing with crayons and markers.
Save time and effort for the teacher, the SB saves a lot of effort and provides teachers with what they need as a science teacher for the figures and pictures, and the teacher of geography needs for maps as the English teacher needs a number of cards and pictures to display words.
The smart board
Now a days a rapid technological revolution is taking place over the world. Modern technology, computers and digital electronics are playing a role that is increasing in the generation, organization, storage and delivery of information with infinite speed beyond the limits of the human imagination.
Technical progress peaked with the breadth of the information network. No one can deny the impact of the modern technology in all the different fields in the world, not only the influence on the physical, industrial and productive but extended its impact to include the social aspects of all kinds, and changed some concepts, attitudes, values and ethical ideals. Progress in technology has had a profound impact on the person and society, which reflected in the educational process.
Blackboard, as a teaching tool was the first revolutionary, which came into the classrooms prior to 1800 and intensely, affected the nature of teaching fields for the next two centuries. Blackboard as a mean supported and improved the traditional teaching; and it is still used as a symbol for traditional teaching.
Interactive whiteboard (IWB) or SB has the potential to prove the second revolutionary teaching tool. Betcher (2009) stated that Smart-Boards had the potential to be identified with new digital classrooms of the 21st century just as the blackboard played a key role in 19th and 20th centuries. Though the first SB was developed in early 1990s, it took some time to recognize its potential for use. Owing to its cost, it started to be used in business life at an earlier date compared to school environment. Once developers had realized the possibilities of using such a technology in education, it started to come into classrooms (Walker, 2005).
The SB is a powerful teaching tool for classrooms. It is a computer-based touch-screen and a digital projector conveys the image on a computer screen to the touch-screen. Teachers as well as students simply touch the surface of the board in order to control applications and write notes. The notes and scripts on the SB can be saved, recorded and printed. One can use a special pencil or his/her finger so as to write notes on the board in digital ink, to highlight any application, to give color to key points on a web site and to get ideas for brainstorm (Rief & Heimburge, 2007).
On the one hand, the use of computers in educational institutions has grown so that in a short period with less effort it becomes specialized means in the transfer of knowledge to the recipient, has led us to use the computer in the educational process to many of the latest technical devices. The SB technology is one of the most prominent of these devices and one of the inventions of the technological development in the world today.
The importance of the SB in the educational process
The Smart-board influences the learning process; it helps to facilitate educational learning practice in schools by stimulating dialogue and discussion during the presentation of the lesson because it can attract attention and make the focus of students exists throughout the class time.
It also helps teachers to clarify a plan before starting the class by arranging, organizing, and adding some elements of voice and image, so it serves all the contents of the lessons and all the syllabuses of the other subjects in the school and thus serves the educational process through.
Show lessons in an interesting way
The SB features the ability to use most Microsoft Office fonts and can navigate in a freeway, which directly contributes to the creation of the scientific material by adding special dimensions and features. It helps to expand the learner's expertise, to facilitate the building of concepts, to stimulate the learner's interest and to satisfy his or her learning needs. The scientific material is presented in exciting, interesting and attractive ways, and it allows learners to interact with them and participate effectively in the learning process and thus the survival of the learning effect (Becta, 2003).
Recording and replay of lessons
The SB can record and replay the lessons after they are saved so that they can be displayed to students, absentees or print the entire lesson of the chapter instead of writing it in the books, and it can be sent by e-mail via the Internet, and therefore will not miss any student absent from any lesson (Becta, 2003) .
Solving the shortage of teachers
SB can be used to overcome the problem of lack of teachers in some subjects, so that can be re-view the annotated lesson fully by a teacher for another class is needed after downloading it on the computer or a CD instead of keeping the chapter without a teacher. Zoubi, (2011, p18).