Reflect on the reading.
What seems to be the most important aspect of using an IWB that will make it a useful classroom tool for learning?
A critical component to successfully implementing the use of IWB’s in a classroom to enhance student learning is the teachers knowledge about the technology and their own skills of how best to use it. It is evident that professional development is necessary to highlight to teachers the most practical and significant ways to implement the technology in the classroom so the teacher may increase their levels of confidence using the technology for instruction. As identified by Miller et al.(2004a) in Higgins (2007) there are six common techniques or ‘manipulations’ which optimize learning and they include: drag and drop; hide and reveal; colour, shading and highlighting; matching equivalent terms; movement or animation; and immediate feedback (pp217). These techniques allow for the teaching of the content to occur differently to the traditional method of teacher directed learning (didactic) and further involve students in the teaching and learning process.
It is important to note that teachers must be aware when using the IWB’s in an interactive sense to avoid teacher centered style of delivery (Higgins, 2007, p.215). The use of IWB’s in a classroom may also provide students with a variety of visual stimuli to assist with learning and make it ‘easier to incorporate and use a range of multimedia resources in lessons such as written text, pictures, video, sound, diagrams and online websites’ (Ekhami, 2002; Johnson, 2002; Levy 2002 in Higgins 2007, p.215). Lesson’s aims and learning objectives must be the primary importance of the lesson whilst adapting resources and the use of IWB’s to optimize student learning. In essence IWB’s in the classroom may be useful to enhance learning so long as the teachers is using the technology in an appropriate manner with well designed activities and tasks which focus on student learning.
Higgins, S., G. Beauchamp, and D. Miller (2007), Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards, Learning, Media and technology, 32(3), 213-225.