Thursday, August 13, 2009
Interactive Whiteboards - Engagement and More
Over the last two years I have had the opportunity to use Interactive Whiteboards (IWB's) in the classroom and witnessed first hand the effect and engagement these tools/technologies have with students. Their ability to provide interactive activities relevant to key learning areas enhance student focus and enjoyment for learning.
Yes, as you might tell I am an advocate for the IWB and have increasingly noted that teachers using the IWB's have a renewed passion for teaching and learning. It is at this time that I must reiterate that the boards are only as good as the human element controlling them. Teachers must provide good pedagogy skills to back up what is used on the IWB, and ensure they are not used merely as a babysitting tool.
Many teachers and administrators believe that IWB's are not as effective as expected and feel that the outlay of initial set up costs could be better spent elsewhere. I believe this is because the IWB's are not being used to their full potential and the technology has not been fully embraced.
Mitchell (n.d.) states that "students demand interactivity". This is a powerful statement which underpins the concepts of learning, especially knowing that students must be engaged in the curriculum in order for effective learning to occur (Kearsley, & Shneiderman, 1999). Interactivity and the ability to create, collaborate and share, are the focus of the IWB, providing invaluable opportunities for students to learn through hands on activities and in a style they prefer.
IWB's are more than merely an engagement tool. This tool:
1. Provides abundant teaching resources
2. Allows recording of instructional material to be posted for review by students
3. Presents presentations created by students or teacher
4. Digital storytelling
5. Teaching of software applications
Just to name a few. (The possibilities are endless)
Kearsley, G., Shneiderman, B., (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Mitchell, B., (n.d.) Watch this video in a new windoweSN TechWatch: Interactive Whiteboards: Boon or Boondoggle Retrieved 12 August, 2009, from