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What's the point of Interactive Whiteboards?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by aaliyahm, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. What can you do on interactive whiteboards that you can't do with a projector and normal whiteboard?
    I can't seem to find anything spectularly worthwhile!
  2. What can you do on interactive whiteboards that you can't do with a projector and normal whiteboard?
    I can't seem to find anything spectularly worthwhile!
  3. It is true that many teachers do not use IWBs effectively. They use them in just the same way as they would use a computer, projector and wall screen, but there are many more possibilities. Follow up these lnks:
    ICT4LT Module 1.4, Section 4
    Whole-class teaching and interactive whiteboards
    Ton Koenraad (2008) Interactive whiteboards in educational practive: the research literature reviewed
    Ton Koenraad's Blog
    EU Project on Interactive whiteboards s in vocational education
    iTILT (interactive Technologies in Language Teaching)
    EU Project on Helping language teachers make the most of interactive whiteboards
    Graham Davies
  4. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    I die when the interactive whiteboard loses interactivity - the students also love coming to the front and demonstrating their knowledge.
    I am however also looking forward to getting a set of lap tops so that the students can all join in at the same time with activities I have prepared and can work at their own pace.
  5. Were the laptops on your wish list and for MFL only?? We share 1 trolley between 12 classrooms. It is just not fair!
  6. tortuman

    tortuman New commenter

    aaliyahm you have a very good point there, it´s actually the Emperor's New Clothes, Interactive Whiteboards are not that interactive after all. You can do exactly the same as with an old chalk board. You can buy expensive programs with icons that you can click on and move, you can find educational games on the Internet where the student is required to click and drag icons, etc. However, it´s all really pointless as you can use that for a plenary or a starter, but in my humble opinion it´s quite useless to have a couple of students clicking away and the rest gawping. -----------------------------
    It´s okay if you already have an interactive board, it´s an interesting gimmick to use sometimes, but I still can´t understand why is it that so much money was spent in these useless monsters that most teachers don't really use or use as a normal whiteboard, and yet more and more schools are sending kids home with no textbooks but horrible low quality photocopies and handouts that they lose... --------------------
    When teaching in a local college I was told off by my supervisor for not using the interactive whiteboard in my observed lesson, well I didn´t need to use the board! When talking to a colleague who was attending my lessons, he nonchalantly told me that he always makes a point to use it, for instance, when he does registration he does it on the interactive white board for everybody to see! A very stupid way of using such an expensive device if you ask me, but this summarizes for most people the use of the so called "Interactive Whiteboard".
  7. The problem with interactive whiteboards is not the whiteboard itself, but the lack of training for the user. It's like buying a someone a new car but not teaching them to drive. Schools seem to spend so much money on equipment but very little on training. I would also advise anyone who has an IWB to ask for some training on how to use it interactively. They can be an amazing resource when used properly. You will also find Graham's links are very useful.
  8. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    We use them interactively with languagesonline.org.uk, atantot.com, kerboodle for A level and Boardworks. Younger students enjoy coming to the front.
  9. "You can do exactly the same as with an old chalk board."
    You can save and reuse documents whether on a projector or an IW. I remember the good old days when you had to write everything on and rub it off again at the end of the lesson. And I wasn't sorry to say goodbye to all that chalkdust!
  10. I agree 100%! This has been the problem with ICT since the early 1980s - which is when I began to carve out my career as an ICT/MFL trainer. Over the years money has been thrown at hardware and, to a lesser extent, software - but very little has been allocated for training. The NOF initiative (1999-2003) attempted to address the issue of training, but made a mess of it by putting it in the wrong hands - i.e. ICT people rather than subject specialists who were experts in ICT. I have written about the need for ongoing training in a number of articles. This is one of the most comprehensive articles I have written:
    2002: "ICT and Modern Foreign Languages: learning opportunities and training needs", published in International Journal of English Studies 2, 1: Monograph Issue, New Trends in Computer Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, edited by Pascual Pérez Paredes & Pascual Cantos Gómez, Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad de Murcia, Spain. Available online at http://www.camsoftpartners.co.uk/needs.htm
    It could do with an update, but a good deal of what it says is still true today.
    Graham Davies
  11. Hello

    Thank you for your contribution everyone!
    Ok - how could a very well trained teacher use it exactly? Do you have any examples of strategy? is it a worthwhile investment!?

  12. FrauSue

    FrauSue New commenter

    Agree with all of the above - using the IWB as a gimmick can get very dull but it has got a useful role to play in the classroom. You're right in that most of them can be done with an OHP as well. However if you use digital files on the IWB you can save changes and/or make small adjustments for different groups if the activity proved too hard or easy first time round.
    I also love the fact that I can write notes on the IWB using the Notebook software (I have a SMARTboard) and then save these written notes as a PDF which can then be emailed to pupils who missed the lesson / printed out. I also have a record of the notes for next year. This is really useful if doing a brainstorming/discussion type lesson where the notes come from the pupils' ideas so can't be prepared in advance.
    I have said this before, but I love using the IWB to teach word order rules in German. Pupils can visibly SEE the verb flying to the end of a subordinate clause, for example. This can be done using cut-out words on an OHP too but with the IWB you can save a copy of the original file (for next year's teaching) and a copy of the new file (which can be printed out for pupils or put on Moodle for revision purposes). Initially individual pupils come out to the board and have a go at moving the verb (supported by suggestions from their peers) - this makes it very visible to the whole class. Then they'll have a go at working on sentences in pairs/alone using mini-cards or in their exercise books. If it's all on the IWB, there's little point, but it's good as a starter to show the principle of the thing.
    I also like the fact that I can write over word or powerpoint files with the IWB pens so can e.g. correct spelling mistakes on worksheets or demo exactly to pupils what I want them to do.
  13. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    SmellyEl - We don't have any lap tops at the moment, but we have been promised a half set. Science, Maths, Music and other subjects have had lap tops for a while. The demand for booking spare spaces in IT rooms is really high, so with lap tops we can begin to plan for developing independent learning within our faculty. Really looking forward to our part rebuild/refurb as the IT facilities in the school look set to be state of the art [​IMG]
  14. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    aaliyahm - some of the tools within notebook on a Smartboard are really useful for creating interactive tasks - have a look in the 'Lesson activity toolkit' at the interactive and multimedia resources - I like the exploding balloons to cover text or images, the interactive dice, the random name selector. The latter is really great for choosing 'volunteers' to answer questions - all must pay attention and be ready with an answer in case the computer 'says yes' to them answering!
    You can download a 30 day trial version of software from the following site to have a go yourself:
    I've also just found the website for teachers sharing resources for IWBs - haven't had a chance to evaluate anything there though as yet.
  15. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    I have been practising using the IWB since the beginning of the year and I do find it useful ( wouldn't be without it), but at the same time I don't think it automatically makes for a wonderful lesson. It's good to have everything in one place (your file for the lesson), and my favourite thing is to bring up youtube videos (or whatever), so that my pupils can watch real Germans. But I don't find the 'interactive' part that interactive because it's only one pupil doing anything , the rest are just watching (we have 'Echo Electro'). Of course I still need to get better at using it. I often download games from the TES connect resources and then they don't quite work in the lesson - no idea why, maybe some crucial part gets lots in the downloading process. For example a little game where two teams shoot down the other team's spaceships when they answer a question correctly - in the lesson all the spaceships disappeared half-way through the game. That was very stressful. But I've made my own little 'connect 4 game', adapted from one I downloaded, and I love that - it works really well, with my own little circles that the pupils move onto the grid when they say the correct verb form.
    I have been to IWB training, by the way, and yes, it was impressive, but it hasn't converted me. They showed how you can video the lesson for example, or show a video and take stills from the video and then bring them up on the IWB and annotate and discuss, or print out and convert into worksheets.
  16. Yes, this is a useful way of using an IWB. I began doing this in 1981 when I wrote a series of programs in BASIC. One illustrated the 'verb second' rule, one showed the 'verb last' rule' after a subordinating conjunction, and the third program illustrated separable prefixes in German. We did not have a wall projector for at the time, but we did have a large TV set on which which could show the programs. I describe these programs in a conference paper that a colleague and I wrote and presented at CAL 81, University of Leeds: http://www.ict4lt.org/en/Davies_Steel_1981.doc
    See also Section 4.1 of Module 1.4 at the ICT4LT site:
    This idea has been revived in the German Grammar Visuals CD-ROM, produced by the Goethe-Institut London in collaboration with Oxford University Press:
    Another useful link:
    Graham Stanley's Scoop.it page
    IWBs & Language Teaching
    Graham Davies
  17. Interesting stuff -
    What would you say are the most EFFECTIVE uses of ICT in the classroom that you have used? In learning?Which really does have the WOW factor and improves the learning outcomes?
    Apart from the IWB for those who support it!

  18. I retired from full-time teaching long before IWBs appeared in educational institutions, but I did make quite a bit of use of whole-class teaching, using computers connected to big TV sets and projectors, from the 1980s onwards.
    To be honest, I never found whole-class teaching as effective as one-to-one lab work. A digest of my views on the effectiveness of ICT in language learning can be found in Section 3 of Module 1.3 at the ICT4LT site - the section headed
    "How effective are new technologies in promoting language learning?" at
    Have a look in particular at the small-scale investigation that I conducted in 2008:
    "How effective is the use of ICT in language learning and teaching?"
    Graham Davies
  19. See if you can borrow the following from a library:

    (I have a particular interest in this, as I contributed a chapter about the impact of the IWB in the MFL classroonm, with particular reference to pupil understanding and retention of grammar).

    Personally, I love my IWB and would be lost without it.

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