Thursday, December 16th, 2010 | IWBs, technology
Many of the things you want to do in you classroom with technology can be done without an interactive whiteboard – in many instances a computer and a data projector would suffice. Unfortunately many interactive whiteboards are used merely as a display surface – these boards have no value unless they are used for their intended purpose.
Once you start using technology to encourage learner participation, you will be able to judge whether you need an interactive whiteboard in addition to your computer and data projector.
An interactive whiteboard allows you to do exactly what you did before on your old board – you can write on it and erase what you don’t require any longer. Herein lies perhaps the greatest strength of the interactive whiteboard – in its basic use it does not differ from the board that you’re used to.
But then, it offers much more:
With your computer and data projector you can display prepared material to the class – when you’re using an interactive whiteboard you can use your finger or stylus to annotate and highlight main points, while you are presenting the lesson. These annotations can even be saved for later use.
A data projector is one-directional – that means it can only display information on a surface and learners can’t interact with it physically by means of a keyboard, mouse or touch screen. Learners can interact with learning material on a computer, but if you have one computer in the class it is hardly possible for all the learners to participate. An interactive whiteboard solves this problem. It becomes a surface on which information is displayed for the entire class to see – but every learner can come up to the board and interact with it, selecting, dragging, dropping, cutting and pasting just as they would do on a computer.
The greatest value of an interactive whiteboard is that it transforms a classroom into an interactive one. Learners are able to interact with learning material in different ways.
An interactive whiteboard will be a good investment only if you are determined to use it for its unique interactive features, and not only as a display surface.
Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.
For more technology tips for teachers click here.