Could you imagine watching TV without a remote control? Having to get up every time you wanted to switch the channel? The SMART Slate to the SMARTboard is like the remote control to the TV. You are able to control the SMARTboard from different areas around the room. Without the Slate, you must be right next to the SMARTboard in order to operate it.
Why would this be helpful to a teacher? As an 8th grade mathematics teacher, there are many positive effects this piece of equipment can have to a classroom environment and the students in it. One of the biggest effect it has on the classroom is that students can be immediately involved and engaged, having their ideas being posted on the board for all students to see. While students are working in their groups, I can be checking for understanding and picking students out to have their ideas shared. During a whole-group discussion, I can easily hand the Slate to a student and they can explain their reasoning right from their seat, rather than going up to the board in front of the whole class. Since many students don't like to get up in front of the class, the Slate gives them another way to "show what they know".
As a teacher, it is a great tool for managing the classroom. I can be writing on the Smartboard from any location in the room, allowing me to stand closer to students who might be sharing their ideas, or to students that might need a non-verbal cue to refocus. It's amazing how focused students get when you are able to be near them and still write on the board. To the students, it's almost magical.
Thank you so much for enabling my students to benefit from this great piece of technology!