I have carried out lots of research and have also written lots of articles on an interactive whiteboard or display board for different levels of education. Today in this publication we will focus on the Interactive whiteboard for tertiary institutions.
What then is an Interactive whiteboard? According to BBC, An interactive whiteboard is an instructional tool that allows computer images to be displayed onto a board using a digital projector. The instructor can then manipulate the elements on the board by using his finger as a mouse, directly on the screen. Items can be dragged, clicked and copied and the lecturer can handwrite notes, which can be transformed into text and saved.
The above definition is not different from what Wikipedia has to say about Interactive whiteboard and its usage. An interactive whiteboard (IWB) is a large interactive display in the form factor of a whiteboard. It can either be a standalone touchscreen computer used independently to perform tasks and operations, or a connectable apparatus used as a touchpad to control computers from a projector.
They are used in a variety of settings, including classrooms at all levels of education, in corporate boardrooms and work groups, in training rooms for professional sports coaching, in broadcasting studios, and others.
The first interactive whiteboards were designed and manufactured for use in the office. They were developed by PARC around 1990. This board was used in small group meetings and round-tables.
They are a powerful tool in the classroom adding interactivity and collaboration, allowing the integration of media content into the lecture and supporting collaborative learning. Used innovatively they create a wide range of learning opportunities. However, in many environments, they are not being used to their full potential, and in many cases acting as glorified blackboards.
The education system has experienced tremendous changes in the past few years as the traditional heavy textbooks are being replaced by convenient eBooks while notebooks are replaced by devices such as interactive whiteboards, Tablets, and iPads.
Today, there are many uses of an interactive whiteboard in tertiary institutions. Some of the main benefits of an interactive whiteboard in teaching are outlined below:
Interactive whiteboard in the classroom can be used by lecturers to improve the quality of presentation contents. This can easily be achieved by creating an array of material into a lesson e.g. a picture from the internet, text derived from a Microsoft Word file, graphs from spreadsheets and teacher and student annotations on the objects. Interactive whiteboards project or display accurate pictures and lesson, and students are far better-engaged than chalkboards or even the conventional projector-screen and whiteboards combination.
Lessons can be recorded
One of the advantages of using an interactive whiteboard in the educational system is the ability to record every lesson. Every lesson can be recorded and playback or even printed and shared among students. Lecturers can use this feature to record their notes and lesson activities and be able to build for themselves overtime a resource for future purposes. Several interactive whiteboards software comprise of screen recording tools that lecturers can use to capture and provide previous lessons to students whenever necessary.
Availability of Resources
Using interactive whiteboards in the classroom is encouraged because there are many flash files available on the internet that can be used by teachers and lecturers to deliver effective lessons. The use of such resources is beneficial in education as its benefits are to save both effort and time while enhancing learning outcomes.
The use of Interactive whiteboard in teaching allows the computer to become some sort of a shared resource. This eliminates crowding or jostling of students around a small screen in an attempt to observe a demonstration by a teacher. This means that the interactive whiteboard can enable students to easily access material from the comfort of their seats. And moreover, this information can be shared instantly as the lesson is going on, the sharing of the information can be either on softcopy or on a hardcopy whichever the students prefer.
The use of an interactive whiteboard in the classroom allows students to actively engage with teaching material, receive instant feedback on the current subject and to manipulate learning objects. It enables the lecturer to sit at the computer with a student on the whiteboard and the class contributing ideas and offering suggestions. It basically promotes interactive teaching.
Styles of Learning
Among the top uses of an interactive whiteboard in education is to successfully accommodate the different learning styles. This is because recording tools can be utilized for audio learners, the board can be touched and manipulated by tactile learners and visual learners can easily track whatever that is happening as a lesson proceeds. Facilitating the different learning styles is a superb way of demonstrating the use of whiteboard in teaching.
Access to Internet
Using interactive whiteboards in the classroom gives the opportunity for immediate access to any content on the internet. This is beneficial because questions can be answered instantly through a Google search as audio, video, and images are all easily accessible. Many teaching sites can be visited and students benefit from that in a greater way. This can make learning fun.
One of the uses of an interactive whiteboard in education that is usually taken for granted is its capability to preserve lessons, notes, and discussions. Such material can easily be accessed afterward. Saving concepts and ideas that had been extensively covered in a previous lesson means that students can easily access the content so as to refresh their knowledge. Furthermore, students who were absent when the lessons were covered for one reason or the other can get an opportunity to access the material to go through what was previously covered. Some of the teachers’ inspiration and emphases during the teaching process can be saved which is not possible on the conventional marker board.
Games are also a way of how to use a whiteboard in classroom. Education via games such as rearranging jumbled texts/ objects or drag and match is possible. This is mostly applicable for the education of very young students. The games can be properly prepared and varied by the teacher so that they are effective.
Interactive whiteboards have different patterns that can be used to lay emphasis on a single word or even group of words. It uses movements and color among other techniques to do this. Furthermore, the distractive part of the interactive whiteboard’s screen has an effective hideaway feature. You can use different colours of the pen to emphasize on a subject matter, you can use spotlight, magic pen etc.
Do you know that you can use an interactive board to teach a student how to draw a perfect diagram, which is to say that every department can benefit from the use of interactive whiteboard in the process of learning? Use an interactive board to identify student ability in art and sketching.
In Nigeria, interactive whiteboards are yet to be fully adopted in our tertiary institutions especially government-owned institutions. In most cases, we discovered that most teachers in public schools are afraid of new technologies. But they should not worry, we are here for teachers in such categories, we’re ready to train them and show them the enormous benefits of adopting these technologies in the teaching process.
We are eager to demonstrate how this modern teaching aids and solutions enhance the education system, help proprietors make their schools more competitive, and parents derive more value from the resources they expend on the education of their wards.”
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