Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 | IWBs
The extent to which you should rely on the supplier of your interactive whiteboard for training depends on two things:
- the nature of the supplier
- the package that you purchased.
Some suppliers have programmes in place where they provide training to teachers obtaining electric whiteboards from them. When you purchase your board, you must enquire about the availability of training.
Many vendors are mere box-droppers; they sell you a device and once you’ve taken the box and they have their money the transaction is complete. In all fairness to these dealers, they do not profess to be more than vendors. This is something that you have to keep in mind when you select an interactive whiteboard dealer.
Vendors usually know their product range very well, and even if they don’t provide formal training, they are a good source of information if you have any hardware – and even software – related questions.
Where training is provided look carefully at what such training consists of – it may focus on mechanical functions of the interactive whiteboard but gives little guidance on pedagogical issues. Remember that the most important thing you have to learn is how you, as a teacher, can most effectively use your board as a teaching tool.
Choose a reputable dealer to supply your interactive whiteboard. That does not necessarily mean you must stick to the big, established companies. There are many smaller ones who give excellent service. In fact, you are more likely to get some training thrown into the bargain from a smaller outfit. Be careful of the fly-by-night establishments – those vendors who suddenly appear from nowhere and make grand promises. Check their references, ask around and get some feedback from other teachers before you select a dealer.
Should you rely solely on the supplier of your interactive whiteboard to teach you how to use your machine? No. The dealer must make a contribution, but should not be viewed as your only source of training.
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