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Educational Research on using Mini Whiteboards

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by joe_blogs, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Hi,
    I'm doing a research project as part of a masters degree and wanted to focus it on the use and benefits of mini whiteboards in mathematics teaching.

    Does anyone know of any research articles on this topic that have already been published.

    Thanks
    Joe
     
  2. I can't help you with any research links but I find them invaluable. The best thing for AfL that I use. It enables me to teach a topic, check on understanding, (usually re-teach from a different angle!) then get the class working knowing that I can then focus my attention on a few of the weaker ones who still need help. Weaker students in particular appear to be more comfortable to 'have a go' on the whiteboards whereas they are reluctant to do it in their books for fear of having a permanent record of making a mistake. Also very useful to have on desks so that I can use them to show a pupil something as I go around the class. Some of the graffiti is often amusing as well!
     
  3. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    It is for almost exactly this reason that I eschew them. I spend all of my time trying to train my mathematicians (as I do with all the subjects I teach) that mistakes are an inevitable part of the process, and that a mathematician who never gets it wrong is just an accountant/geek. The geniuses are the ones who get it wrong time after time... and keep their notes to remind them what not to do if nothing else!
     
  4. I know what you mean Tafkam but I think perhaps the less able make more mistakes (even when differentiated for) and so it becomes more of an issue for them?
    Love whiteboards, you can see at a glance who's got it and who hasn't got a clue (i insist on 'show me what you've got' even if you've got nothing!). Beats marking too!

     
  5. I know what you mean but I did say "weaker students". I have a vocational group whose self esteem in Maths is incredibly low. They have reached the age of 14/15 with virtually no mathematical success and their general skills make it unrealistic to think that they will ever look at notes. I want them to gain sufficient confidence so that they can use the most basic maths in the real world. I have had them since September and am delighted with the progress they are making. There is very little to show in their books but if I asked them to calculate the percentage profit they make on their latest scam they could now do it.
     
  6. I do hope this is self funded and a bit of 'me time' rather than a serious project.
    Typical 21st century Ofsted attempts to make teaching something it need not be.
    Every damn trainee I have seen in the last year has tried to use these for the heck of using them. Some have been mildly ineffective, some have just been so cringe worthy just to be 'Ofsted cool'
    Many pupils dont want todisplay their answers or feelings, many cannot be mature about using them and those who are motivated are capable of conveying information in far more time effective ways.
    One good bit of technology I do embrace is the handheld response system for all ages/subjects/ability ranges.
     
  7. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Steady on! Seems to me that if there is a new way of teaching (such as using mini w/bs) then it's perfectly sensible to carry out research as to how/whether/when it is effective.
    Sure; there are always drawbacks to any resource. But in many classrooms they are a useful way to see that everyone understands and to get lots of different ideas and examples very quickly. I disagree with the time-effective suggestion; in many cases it is quicker with the boards.
    ... and this almost certainly has drawbacks too.
    [Hey - I used to love your sax work - I hope you are still playing!]


     
  8. I suppose it is like everything else - it all depends how it is used. Admittedly you get some students who just mess around at first but with some perseverance and training the results are well worthwhile. Assessment for Learning, when done properly, is invaluable. The whiteboards are part of the feedback loop for me. I teach a topic and they give me feedback on their understanding. Immediately, I am able to address misunderstandings and often the whole class benefits from this, not just the perpetrator. With my classroom seating arrangement pupils can show their answers without others seeing them (unless they deliberately want to look around) so they feel reasonably comfortable about giving an answer and taking a risk. If they still feel uncomfortable they can feedback to me by just writing a question mark. I find that once we have ironed out the main problems students can get on well with exercises and it reduces the amount of times that you have to call the whole class back to attention when you realise that several are doing something wrongly. With the vast majority of the class working well I can then give extra time to those who need it.

    I expect some response from every student. Even with a traditional "hands up" system you were only getting feedback from a few (or arguably 1). I do know of teachers who have tried them and decided against them but I would encourage everybody to give them a fair trial.
     
  9. There’s nothing new about using mini whiteboards its just an environmentally unfriendly version of a system widely used in Victorian times.
     
  10. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Funnily enough, the first time I used these the response from the kids was "what's the point, a mini-white board is easier."
     
  11. How were they used?
     
  12. lancsHOD

    lancsHOD New commenter

    Bombay,
    Do you use pupil response devices now or just stick to the mini whiteboards?

    I to think that mini whiteboards are a great way to see who understands and also involves the whole class. Hands up to answe doesn't involve many, if you ask to see all mini whiteboards then you have some involvement from all, as an earlier poster said you may just get a blank board but that tells you something.
     
  13. Im not sure 'hands up' has ever been an effective way to assess the progression of a class has it?
     
  14. Another advantage of mini-whiteboards is to address the problem of pupils who can't resist shouting out the answer. I have a small (10 pupils), low set year 9, which can easily be dominated by five enthusiastic extroverts who find it virtually impossible to not shout out the answer irrespective of whom I've asked, and the rest who hardly ever say a word. So they now all have a whiteboard next to them throughout the lesson for "shouting out" - I can see their written answer, without the pupil I've asked being affected. A couple of the quieter ones are also much happier to write their answers and hold them up for me to see, rather than having to speak in front of the class.
     
  15. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I use both for the variety. Or I will when my current schools sorts the technology out so it can be used more easily.
     
  16. There are so many different dynamics going on and tools for developing learning with handheld technology its untrue.
    I have seen it used so well its amazing yet others use it so poorly.
    When constructed well and thought out it is (in my opinion/experience) one of the best learning tools around
     
  17. weggster

    weggster New commenter

    I use mini-whiteboards in every lesson. The students enjoy using them and they help progress for all levels of students. From the lowest ability through to the highest. I'd reccomend them to all departments.
     
  18. Hi there
    I'm doing a similar research project, but it's difficult to find any existing research, books etc. on the subject. If you found something, please could you let me know the details as I am doing a desk-based research on the use of mini whiteboards in maths.

    Thanks
    malini.patel@hotmail.co.uk
     
  19. i remember that one [​IMG] plus ca change....
     

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