Basically, an interactive whiteboard could be seen as a dry erase whiteboard with an LCD projector which is usually mounted on a wall or floor stand. Powered by user-friendly software, the whiteboard becomes a computer screen viewable by an entire classroom. The projector projects the content from a computer onto the surface of the board while the teacher controls the content either with a pointer or a touch of the hand instead of a keyboard and mouse.
Anything that can be done on a computer monitor can be replicated on the interactive whiteboard. This technology makes the one-computer classroom a workable instructional model in the sense that a teacher can create engaging lessons that focus on one task such as a matching activity where students use either their fingers or a pen to match items while another teacher might integrate multiple items into a lesson plan such as websites, photos, and music that students can interact with, respond to verbally or even write comments on the board itself.
According to, eztalks.com Interactive whiteboards have brought significant improvements in the education sector by simplifying the learning processes and this technology has been integrated into all levels of learning including primary school, high school, and institutions of higher learning.
However, most school owners are yet to embrace this technology because they think that it is very expensive to purchase and integrate into the learning curriculum not knowing fully well that in the long run, the school saves more money(zero costs on the purchase of dry markers, erasers, chalks and even blackboard painting each year) while improving the learning environment; and on the other hand students will spend less on writing materials as they enjoy class presentations.
Classroom applications for using interactive whiteboards include:
Multimedia lessons and presentations including audio and video
Collaborative problem solving
Showcasing student projects and presentations
Recorded lessons that can be used by substitute teachers
Documentation of student achievement
There are now many interactive whiteboard brands to choose from and most feature video, image, and lesson libraries. Here are some of the leading brands:
LEAD Interactive Whiteboard
Highmark Interactive Whiteboard
De dove Interactive Whiteboard
This article seeks to give a full insight of what Interactive Whiteboard can do and the benefits that schools, institutions, and organizations stand to achieve by integrating it into the system such as listed below:
1.Makes It Easier for Teachers to Structure Lessons, Save and Access Files
Teachers can easily formulate, plan and schedule for the lesson beforehand using an Interactive Whiteboard. It also allows you to easily shift thoughts, ideas, and topic order around without having to write out a new outline.
Also, an IWB gives you the ability to save files during your lesson preparation and then access them again when you’re ready to teach. This saves you time by allowing you to project your scheme of work outline or lecture notes directly from the board rather than having to transfer it onto the classroom whiteboard
2. Makes the Learning Process More Fun
Interactive whiteboards allow teachers to create engaging classes and involve every single student in a learning process. Images and presentations are delivered in full HD display accompanied by interactive computer capabilities. With such technology in class, every student will be anxious to try out how the board works and this can spur the students’ enthusiasm to get involved in learning process using the interactive whiteboards.
IWBs allow you to easily incorporate video clips, pictures, diagrams, presentations and other visuals into your lesson. Rather than spending time trying to describe certain topics or processes to your students, show them a video you’ve loaded onto your interactive whiteboard. This decreases the amount of time you need to spend talking and helps you make more effective use of the hours you have with your class.
With multimedia lessons and video/audio presentations, you can bring more hands-on activities into the classroom. The motivating aspect of interactive whiteboards is that it can be adopted in the scope of any subject, such as spelling, math, biology or languages. Moreover, teachers can emphasize key points and ideas by using a pen OR a highlighter OR font effects such as bold, italics, and colors to highlight and in this way boost deeper understanding among kids.
Students in such learning environment will find syllabus coverage more fun and most of them won’t miss school or skip classes.
3. Increases the Level of Engagement between Teachers and Students
Instead of making the often boring one-way presentation, a teacher can use an interactive whiteboard to increase student engagement and reduce classroom management time. Whether it’s learning vocabulary, pronunciation or exploring a research, students will find a lesson engaging if it integrates text, images, videos and/or audio files. For instance, a teacher can play an audio file to demonstrate the pronunciation of a word displayed on the board. Students will then be given a chance to pronounce other words to see whether they are correct. Use of videos footages in teaching can also trigger students to think outside the conventional classroom environment. That triggers a creative and fresh perspective on learning, which can lead to students contributing to their ideas in class sessions. In the long run, lessons will be more vivid, more engaging and certainly more productive.
More engrossed students can mean fewer problems with behavior or attention which results in you being able to use your teaching time more effectively.
4. Allows Students with Various Disabilities to Learn Better
Each student in a class enjoys learning in different ways. While some are good auditory learners(able to learn better with audio), others are great visual learners. So including text, images, audio and video in a presentation allows everyone, including those with learning disabilities, to enjoy the lesson. Another benefit of using the interactive whiteboard in the classroom is that it helps students with hearing impairment to benefit from the visual presentation. Those unable to see partially or completely can also learn more about a given topic using audio presentation.
As stated in bbcactive.com, teaching with an interactive whiteboard allows accommodates all different learning styles:
• Tactile learners get to touch and move things around the board. They can also make notes and highlight elements.
• Visual learners benefit from a clear view of what is happening on the board.
• Audio learners can participate in a class discussion.
Hence the use of interactive whiteboards ensures the learning needs of every student are met sufficiently.
5. Supports Group Discussion and Brainstorming Group interaction
Interactive whiteboards promote group discussion and participation. They are an effective tool for brainstorming as notes made on the screen can be turned into text, and saved to be shared and distributed later. They are an ideal tool for small group work and collaborative learning, as students can huddle around the board developing ideas, and then save the work for sharing over a network or by email.
6. Improved technological literacy
Interactive whiteboards have helped in developing 21st-century skills in students. It is a good option for boosting technological competence among students. With the aid of the user-friendly software, students get used to touch screens and multisensory technology at early ages.
The benefits of interactive whiteboards in the classroom are so many that any learning institution cannot afford to ignore it. Though the cost of acquiring the interactive whiteboards, projectors and other accessories might be high (as seen by some school owners/proprietors), the advantages are greater in the long run. These whiteboards will not only stimulate learning but will also save on learning materials and inspire performance. It is the ultimate tool for instructors who want to transform their classroom into more effective and interactive learning environment.
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