Interactive whiteboards as a teaching tool

In-depth engagement with learning problems

They encourage creative and seamless use of materials including:

  • Websites
  • Video and audio clips
  • Internet access
  • Interactive teaching programs
  • Interactive and electronic texts
  • Interactive software such as digital flipcharts
  • Use of additional peripherals such as electronic microscopes or digital cameras and scanners

Texts can be written or created, and data and information presented in electronic and multimedia formats. They can be re-presented in ways that further explore, unpack or explain the content, and communicated through e-presentations, email and on the internet. This not only provides a medium for presentation and communication, but also opens possibilities of new, ‘authentic’ audiences and learning communities. The software enables the teacher to quickly change and reconfigure information, to provide opportunities to engage with pupils at a higher and/or deeper level. Pupils are encouraged to deepen their level of enquiry and generate their own questions and hypotheses, which they can then easily test and confirm.

Effective use of the interactive whiteboard incorporates a variety of teaching techniques that support a range of preferred learning styles. Effective use of interactive whiteboards can also support visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning. The use of the technology can undoubtedly increase learning opportunities; however, the technology does not replace effective teaching. In order to take full advantage of benefits of the technology, the teacher needs to combine knowledge of the subject, an understanding of how pupils learn, and a range of teaching strategies along with skilful manipulation of the technology. Schools should not underestimate the time needed for teachers to become confident with the technology and to develop their teaching style and strategies.