During my prac teaching I have been at 2 different schools but unfortunately both of these schools have not had Interactive Whiteboards. I do not know the reason for this but I think it would be an interesting technology to incorporate within the classroom. I have watched some video’s and audio files on how Interactive Whiteboards work. In my opinion it may be very difficult to use effectively if teachers are not fully conversant with the functionality to know what they are doing or how to use the technology properly.
Interactive Whiteboard is a touch sensitive board which allows teachers and children to participate interactively in activities projected onto it from a data projector connected to a computer (Muijs, 2005) It consists of three main elements: computer, a data projector and a touch sensitive whiteboard (Muijs, 2005).
There are many benefits for teachers using the Interactive Whiteboard compared to use of your traditional blackboard. The interactive whiteboard allows teachers to create multimedia presentations which is extremely beneficial to students as they are seeing what is happening compared to just being told (Muijs, 2005). The major advantage of using this technology is that it offers students interactivity. This means students are directly interacting in the exercise with the whiteboard (Muijs, 2005). As mentioned in many of the blogs previously technology is only engaging and useful when it is used properly. Muijs (2005) states that as with any other use of ICT whether these advantages will be present in a given lesson will depend on how well the whiteboard is used.
It is not realistic to think that a school will have an Interactive Whiteboard available for each class. So many teachers will have to use the traditional alternatives. But for those who do have this technology available within the classroom it would be effective if you were teaching directed learning. As there is most likely one Interactive Whiteboard per class using it with 20 odd students could become a major problem for teachers. Betcher (2009) when discussing the interactive whiteboard argues that getting a student to physically interact with the board is good but it only engages that one student. A well designed learning activity filled with ambiguous ideas however will intellectually challenge every student.
If given the opportunity within my school to use an Interactive Whiteboard I would take it. I find this technology very interesting and I think there would be many different ways to engage students. I do understand that a lot of time and preparation will be needed but I think once the ground work is completed students will be involved in a great learning experience.
Betcher, C & Lee, M (2009) The Interactive Whiteboard Revolution: ACER; Australia
Muijs, D & Reynolds, D (2005) Effective Teaching – Evidence and Practice: SAGE; California.