The problem is that my school environment does not support me. Although IWB's/SmartBoards are cropping up all over the place, and I have started to learn and be trained in their features, my circumstances conspire against their effective use.
This is where I'm hoping you can offer me some advice. How can I use SmartBoards in my teaching?
Here is my current situation: I work as an EFL teacher in elementary education in Taiwan. I don't have a computer for my own use loaded with SmartBoard software. I can share one of the school computers which do with a few other teachers, but obviously this has time limitations. Also, when I use a school computer, both the operating system (either Windows 7 or XP) and the SmartBoard software are usually set to Chinese (which I can't read). Since I don't have my own classroom I have to travel to 22 different ones each week. These classrooms may or may not:
(a) have a computer available (the classroom teacher might want to use it),
(b) have an overhead projector,
(c) have a SmartBoard,
(d) have batteries in the remote control for the overhead projector,
(e) have external speakers loud enough for students to hear the sound, or
(f) various combinations of some or all of the above
I could anticipate some of these issues by bringing spare batteries, speakers and a portable projector with me, but I'd have to carry these in addition to my teaching materials, stationery, etc. and lose precious lesson time setting them up.
My solution would be to be given a dedicated English classroom with an English-based computer and speakers, and set up with an IWB. Am I being unreasonable? Is this asking too much? Should I just be happy with a low-tech. solution? Should I develop two or more sets of lesson plans based on the available technology in particular rooms?
I'm finding the challenge of learning new Web-based tools enough in English, let alone having to learn them in Chinese as well. So, I would greatly appreciate any comments or ideas which might help not only myself but others in similar circumstances.