Sunday, January 31st, 2010 | IWBs
Some teachers may object to the mere suggestion that they should become more productive. “How can we be expected to produce more?” they may ask. “We are already overworked. You can’t squeeze blood from a stone.”
This reaction is understandable. We know that teachers carry heavy loads. But the concept of productivity is often misunderstood – it does not necessarily mean working longer hours.
What is productivity?
Productivity is defined as the amount of output per unit of input – where input may be time, equipment or money. This means that you can raise productivity if you increase output with the same amount of input.
There are different ways of measuring productivity. For example, in a manufacturing company productivity is measured based on the number of items manufactured per hour – the hour remains the same (input) while the number of items manufactured (output) determines if productivity is increased or decreased. Sometimes an investment in equipment will speed up the manufacturing process, thereby raising productivity.
How do we measure productivity in the classroom? What are the outputs? While there are different views on how to assess and what metrics should apply in the classroom, the desired output is simple to define: the amount of learning taking place.
This means that productivity in the classroom can be increased if the amount of learning experienced by individual learners is increased within the same time period. Teachers know that a lesson hour can pass with hardly any learning happening while a lesson of the same duration can be highly productive when a lot of learning takes place.
How much learners learn within a lesson period depends a lot on the teacher – but a small investment in equipment can help you to make the best use of teaching time.
An interactive whiteboard is such a productivity tool – it helps you to hold the attention of learners, makes learning more interesting, and promotes learner involvement through the interactive nature of the device. Productivity increases since the amount of input (time) remains the same, while output (amount of learning) increases. The cost of the tool is a small price to pay if you can achieve this!
An interactive whiteboard can make you a productivity powerhouse. But the board is just a tool – enhanced productivity depends on how you use it.
Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.