For over twenty years now teachers have tried to apply new technologies to their pedagogical strategies. One of the latest technological advances being implemented in schools are interactive whiteboards. These are presentation devices which interface with a computer. A digital projector displays the computer images in the whiteboard. The technology permits physical interaction with the software through the board. This is what makes it so interesting for educational purposes.
Seeking for student involvement in learning through technology, teachers are always looking for new interactive applications in hope that they can help make the students engage with lessons.
Whiteboards have been proven to provide a shared learning experience that benefits focus and increases participation in the classroom. Interactive whiteboards can encourage student-teacher engagement and collaborative learning.
The full colour interactive display of whiteboards is said to improve the attitude of the students towards both computer skills and lessons, leading to better retention of the information.
Interactive whiteboards are used in schools for interactive presentations and collaborative learning. They replace traditional flipcharts and whiteboards. But as they are boards and computer interface devices at the same time, they can replace media sets such as TV and DVD player combinations too.
The interactive software gives teachers the chance to write annotations in real time on the presentations. These notes can be saved and stored as electronic files. The software interacts as well with annotation and drawing environments which are shared online. This way, teachers can distribute the annotated presentations among their students through electronic formats or on paper.
The computer applications that come with the whiteboards give as well the chance for video recording of the screen presentation in real time. For teachers, this means that they can record their instructions and annotations together with the interface in real time as digital video files. This way, blocks of lessons can be distributed as video files to the students for study and review. This feature is very effective as an instructional strategy to help struggling learners and absent students to catch up with the courses.
As they are usually connected to school networks for digital video files sharing, these methods are being applied in distance learning and educational exchanges as well.
Interactive whiteboards are being used to maximise the computer access in the classrooms when the resources are limited.
As they are interactive and audiovisual, it is used to target all kinds of learners, such as kinaesthetic and visual learners, as well as students with special needs with a single presentation.
They have been implemented recently in literacy instruction delivery and in shared reading lessons in which teachers can project children’s books in the board without losing the book-like interactivity.
Interactive whiteboards are helping teachers create interactive educational strategies that, together with good pedagogical methods, are proving to have a real impact in the engagement of the students at school. If you are unsure about any aspect of acquiring whiteboards for your classroom then an internet search will reveal a number of specialist interactive whiteboard installation companies who will be able to take care of the task for you.