Interactive whiteboards as a teaching tool

Enhancing demonstration and modelling

Teachers demonstrate in order to show pupils how to do something; modelling helps pupils to understand underlying structures, relationships and processes in abstract concepts.

A good demonstration does not have to be supported by discussion as, for example, when a teacher demonstrates a ‘cut and paste’ technique on screen with little or no explanation. However, modelling without discussion is generally ineffective.

The interactive whiteboard enables teachers to demonstrate in a clear, efficient and dynamic way. As pupils visualise the techniques or instructions, for example, they use the visual and kinaesthetic stimuli to develop and reinforce their understanding.

Interactive software enables teachers to model abstract ideas and concepts. As pupils interact with a simulation, they respond to questions and pose others; they predict outcomes and learn ‘what happens if…?’ and they experiment with the variables in the model, because they see the effects taking place. They use the stimuli to make new connections and deepen their understanding of the concept.

In english for example, the use of interactive whiteboards can support aspects of shared writing. The process of planning and composition is demonstrated by the teacher and writing is modified and adapted on screen through interaction and discussion with pupils.

In mathematics, interactive mathematical software offers dynamic representation of shapes and systems. Teachers and pupils can manipulate variables to see mathematical concepts in action.