I don’t think that smart boards make kids smarter. I do think that smart boards help smart teachers, teach smarter. The teachers talking in this PBS video are living in the present. Most teachers are living in the past. I have never seen a SMARTboard in a pre-k classroom. This particular teachnology reform never made it to pre-K. This was likely for more than one reason. SMARTboards are a little abstract for preschoolers but, with the right interface, I am sure they could really be great. In my classroom I got a big TV, and used it as a SMARTboard. I would ask kids to touch a letter on the starfall.com website, and I would use the mouse to click it at the same time.
Not the most high tech use of technology but, to a 4-year-old, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they can pretend to make stuff happen on the screen. The same sort of the pizazz that these kids are getting. the important thing about these lessons are that these teachers are building skills their students will need in the future. They are working together, explaining their answers, and visually presenting ideas, all 21st century skills. If this is what teaching in the present looks like, I wonder what creative teachers will be doing in the future with this technology.