Sunday, 6 November 2011

ICT resource – Interactive Whiteboard

What is an Interactive whiteboard and who does it work?
Interactive whiteboard, IAW, is an effective tool and it´s very easy to use. There are number of different varieties from several different manufactures. You may have heard of any of the main IWB manufactories SMARTboard or ACTIVEboard.

An interactive whiteboard consists of three components;
• a computer which has IWB software installed
• a projector
• a whiteboard
The main difference from a normal whiteboard is that the IWB can communicate with your computer. A projector projects the images on to the interactive whiteboard and you or the pupils can than interact with the content on the board. To manipulate the content you use a special pen or your finger. That means that everything you have on your computer can be seen and used on the IWB. You can for example see your internet browser, word documents and different computer program. One of the good thing with IWB is that you don´t have to return to the computer because you can do everything direct on the board.

One of the disadvantages with an IWB is the high cost of buying it. Many school don’t have enough money to buy it, if that´s the case then try to seek founds for money to buy one.

It is important that you always have a back-up-plan if the technology doesn’t work.

How the resource can be used by teachers:
Before you start your lesson using the IWB you have to calibrate the board to get good sharpness and you also need to make sure that the pupils has the necessary software to the board installed.

It is important before you start using the IWB to get as much practice as possible to understand the interactive whiteboard. If you feel comfortable with this way of working you can see more of the benefits of using an IWB and than the use of this tool will increase effectiveness in your and the pupils achievements.

There are many ways of how you as a teacher can use the IWB. With the IWB you have all your work as a teacher in the same place. Another good thing is that you can prepare your lessons in advance and then use it during a lesson with IWB. It is also a great way if you want to share your lesson plans, you can design the lesson so any teacher could follow them. During the lesson can you use the IWB when you are having a brainstorm or a discussion. You can take notes and make comments on the board and saving them for next time.

In many ways IWB can increase the pupils motivation and support their learning process. IWB has many variances from different tools and it feels impressive in the classroom. For example can you write, do highlight and underline, paste image, reveal information that you had hidden before, you can make transcript and drag scenes out of film clip and have them pasted on the board for later discussion. The pupils can come to the board and drag objects around to accomplish a matching exercise. You can also buy interactive versions of the course book, or use any webpage or create your own material.

It is important to not allow you and the IWB to dominate the classroom. Think of what type of lesson benefits of having a lesson with IWB. The students should interact with each other and actively use the board in different ways.

How the resource can be used by pupils:
After a lesson can you save your work on the IWB and for those pupils who missed the lesson can take part of it later or you can save the lesson and use it later for repetition.

IWB can appeal to several learning ability, the pupils can hear, touch, see and play.
By using the pen can you point out the important stuff and do highlights, shapes and lines. You can also use pictures and audio in different ways to reinforce the memorization.

To present the pupils presentations more distinct IWB is a great tool. The pupils can make presentation in PowerPoint and interact with the classmates with different exercise on the IWB. They can also do a Photo Story after a project and show it to the class.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Linda,
    it’s nice to hear you enthusiasm for IAW. I agree with you that it looks impressive in the classroom and the fact that the students love the effects (highlights, different colours, etc) you can ad when writing on it. Another good thing is that is reinforces what you are presenting and may help in the learning process. That is excellent.

    What is not a good thing about it, is that it actually takes many hours of practice before you can use it in a wider perspective. You mention that it is important for the teacher to take the time to practise and understand how it works before you actually start using it in your teaching. I think this is not a fair picture. If you have an interest in technical things you might pick it up faster, but the majority of my colleagues and other teachers I have talked to, says that it takes a lot of time to do this. You learn how to write quite fast and use the covering sheets and so on, but the rest is not so quickly acquired. I think it is very important that you get educated in using it properly. It is not enough with a couple of hours when you get the IAW, but you need more. How much more is of course individual. To make the investment really useful, it is important to make sure that the teachers receive sufficient training in using it. I think it is important to point this out to headmasters or others who decide about buying IAW:s.

    The rest of your blog post is very good. You clarify what an IAW is, what you need to be able to use it and what the advantages are. Another important thing that you point out is that we need to think about how we would like to use it. When you control the different functions and know how to use it as it is intended, it could be a temptation to let the IAW dominate the classroom, just as you say. That would give the students fewer opportunities to interact with each other. Still, if we are aware of this, and focus on the learning process I do not think this to be a problem.

    Good luck in using it!

    //Lina Sandberg