ICT Current Trends – The IWB

12 03 2011

From using pen and paper, to chalk and the blackboard, and finally to the interactive whiteboard, the progress of presentational methods in the classroom has taken rapid progress in developing effective methods for teaching school lessons. The school staff, school community and educational organizations have taken full use of interactive whiteboards in the classroom but there are also an equal number of people in the education system who have not yet experienced this new trend of educational technology.

A typical interactive whiteboard lesson, presentation or flip chart are presented by the teacher in a similar way to how a Power point or a Keynote is used in the classroom. However as Gage (2006) has noted, the interactive whiteboard caters for the potential need of teachers to coach students in a range ‘of teaching styles, benefiting all types of learners”.

To cater for the multiple intelligences in the classroom, teachers are able to target these differences through the application of ICT and interactive whiteboards. For example, musical learners are able to learn through the use of videos and music which can be added into a Flip chart lesson and thus they can learn effectively and take part in classroom discussions in an enthusiastic way as their learning style are being catered for. Also, it is known that the size of the interactive whiteboard screen gives students more opportunity to keep their attention spans for longer than normal during a lesson.

Correspondingly, a research lesson consisting of the use of computers either in groups or individually can allow students to regain their connection to researching and the necessary topic they are studying.

Why?

The purpose of an interactive whiteboard is to increase the effectiveness of a lesson for students and increase their participation in their learning. However, how interactive can these interactive whiteboards really be?

Through the pedagogy of using interactive whiteboards, we are able to find out how the multiple intelligences are catered for. It is not necessary that all students will be able to work with an interactive whiteboard, they may prefer the traditional ways of taking notes and learning or may even prefer collective discussions. In my opinion, teachers should always be mindful before preparing their lessons and implementing an interactive whiteboard activity into them.

Personally, I think an interactive whiteboard should not be the core material of teaching a lesson, rather it should be a support for teaching whether it would be a presentation, video or flip chart. In other words, ICT and interactive whiteboards should not be centered around the coaching of a lesson, rather they should be used to reinforce what the teacher has previously taught to the students in regards to a particular topic.

Independently, I feel that teachers should have a perfect understanding of ICT and the purpose of interactive whiteboards. Otherwise, a lesson will not really be effective for the students and will be a great risk to their future in regards to their participation in ICT and overall learning manner.

Overall, technology should NOT be overused in the classroom. ICT should be used where it is 100% necessary and it is directly connected to a particular topic. When ICT is used interactively and in an appropriate manner, only then does it becomes a fantastic intellectual tool in the classroom. I think the classroom can be quite easily transformed by the use of ICT and interactive whiteboards. Also, it gives students different experiences and gives more broader thinking skills to improve their creativity. ICT and interactive whiteboards are great for experienced teachers, however new teachers will first need to consider the traditional ways and slowly move up the ladder with using ICT and interactive whiteboards.

REFERENCES:

Gage, J. (2006). How to use and Interactive Whiteboard really effectively in your secondary classroom. London: David Fulton Publishers.

Tolley, R.J., (n.d.) Notes on the use of IWSs in Schools. Available at http://www.maximise-ict.co.uk/IWBs.pdf

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