Positive soundings

As interactive whiteboards become more common in classrooms, many schools are already reporting benefits in terms of improved teaching and learning opportunities across the whole curriculum.

The integration of this technology in our classrooms is an exciting new development – it challenges assumptions on the role of technology in learning. Some may have perceived technology in our classrooms in terms of pupils working in pairs at a computer, with the teacher acting as the ‘guide on the side’. This new medium turns that assumption on its head. The integration of the interactive whiteboard encourages teachers to manipulate the technology in order to encourage and develop active learning. Effective use of an interactive whiteboard encompasses and extends a range of teaching styles. It also supports and extends a wider range of learning styles – but, as with any ICT tools, its success depends on effective use.

The key feature of this technology is that it emphasises whole class teaching strategies. These include teacher modelling and demonstration, prompting, probing and promoting questioning, managed whole-class discussions, review of work in progress to reinforce key points emerging from individual and group work, and whole-class evaluation in plenary sessions.

We hope that as a result of your participation on this course, you will have a greater understanding of the benefits accruing from teaching with interactive whiteboards, be aware of all the interactive whiteboard purchasing options in the marketplace and have derived a knowledge of the vast amount of interactive whiteboard teaching resources available from suppliers, downloadable from the internet, available through content subscription websites or resources you can create yourself using specific ICT tools.