‘Interactive Whiteboards: A Practical Guide for Primary Teachers’ by Peter Kent (Chapter 3).
Chapter 3 focuses on the idea that intellectual quality can be enhanced in the classroom with the use of an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB). Kent argues that students need to “think beyond memorising the content” (pg.19). It is stated that in order for intellectual quality to be enhanced the IWB presentation needs to be interactive i.e. promote higher order thinking, prompt class discussions and present information in a way that is open to interpretation. There needs to be an essence of ambiguity and randomness in the IWB presentation.
Some practical activites which teachers can provide using the IWB include:
-Ordering and Sequencing
-Puzzle, game or simulation
As I had never used an IWB before and because they began installing them in schools after I had graduated I was very sceptical as to whether or not they actually enhance learning or just leave schools out of pocket. Even after reading this chapter I still felt as though I had to try things out for myself before I make a judgement. Therefore I did agree with Kent when he said that the IWB must prompt class discussions and I also agreed that lessons need to have a practical componant to them for higher order thinking so that children are not just rote learning.
For the first class assessment I made and presented my first IWB. As I was creating it I used some of the practical activities suggested by Kent, namely labelling, sorting and discussing. I do believe that the IWB has a great potential to enhance higher order thinking if used correctly, however if it is over used or used without purpose I feel the children will very quickly lose interest in the technology.
When creating lessons for the IWB a teacher must reflect on the following:
– Have I used the IWB for the entire lesson or have I planned for other activities?
– Am I using the IWB to its full potential or am I using it like any other bit of technology?
– Have the children lost interest?
– Did we have class disscussions which showed curiosity or wonder?
Here is a great link which educators can access to repurpose IWB files, alternatively you can create your own and use your own higher order thinking!
Here is a useful clip for beginners who are using the ActivInspire program: