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What's the point of Interactive Whiteboards?

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

  1. Given a choice, EITHER 12-15 kids in a class and limited provision of technology OR 25-30 kids in a class and lots of IWBs, digital labs etc, what would you choose and what do you think would bring about the greater improvement in results?
    Graham Davies
  2. Hello Graham,

    To improve GCSE languages I would make it compulsory for university entrance. Having lots of ICT will do nothing.
    My son is in a private selective school in France and again no IWBs.
    Funny how the elite don't require this stuff . Also the fees are about £30,000 per annum.
    So, in answer to you question, I would prefer that universities, government and employers demanded MFL qualifications. Thereby, encouraging students to WANT to learn it.
    Personally, the more ICT/games/kinaesthetic activities = chaotic/demotivated classes.
    Sucking up to students by playing space invaders using an IWB whilst using the minimum of French is pointless.
    Yes, they might be having "fun" and "engaged".If I were thirteen I would love these "activities" better than doing written work, translating, reading authentic texts. Just as teenagers would eat rubbish all day if given the chance. Don't pander to them, keep giving them the educational equivalent of organic free range chicken rather than Iceland chicken nuggets that they want.
    'The education that is best for the best is the education that is best for all.'—Robert Maynard Hutchins
  3. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    ha ha - nice rant, delhaye!
    "Personally, the more ICT/games/kinaesthetic activities = chaotic/demotivated classes."
    The reality does not always reflect this. To give you one excellent example, we make regular use of languagesonline.org.uk, produced by a selective school for quite able students. It is motivating, challenging and very useful.
    I assure you that our classes perform very well indeed but enjoy a well-chosen selection of games, ICT and even kinaesthetic activities. Many colleagues would say the same.

  4. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    Of course I'd rather teach 15 kids with no IWB than 30 with it, but as I haven't been given this choice I make the most of the facilities that I have. I think that the occasional lesson in the computer room is very useful, practising a grammar point using languagesonline for example, and then perhaps making their own powerpoint on a given topic.
  5. mlapworth

    mlapworth Occasional commenter

    Very true.
  6. mlapworth

    mlapworth Occasional commenter

    Very true.
  7. great - but what can an interactive whiteboard do effectively that a projector and computer cannot? I'm lost!
  8. If it's only the teacher who uses it, then, indeed, you might as well have the old chalkboard. The point of the IWB is that it enables the CHILDREN to be 'interactive'. As soon as a couple of them to the front to compete with each other with a vocabulary learning game or a maths skills game, the whole class is absorbed and trying to whisper (or shout) the answers. As a starter or plenary activity it's enormously valuable. I was converted years ago by watching the kids' response, and have made a huge number of games as a result.

  9. I don't agree with you. I think that if used properly it can actually make you save time! I re-use the notebooks I made last year and when I have to amend them it does not take me ages. It also saves paper. For instance, you can write a whole starter activity on a slide of the IWB, freeze the screen so that when the pupils come into your classroom, they can start work straight away while you do the register or sort out paperwork or issues. (no need to rush to the photocopier anymore!)
    It also looks much better than OHT and it is much easier to store as well ! You can also create your worksheets directly from your notebook pages (I am an MFL teacher and when I don't want them to spend ages copying a table, I can just export the relevant slides as PDF and get the worksheet straight away without opening another program).
    It might be an expensive device but if you look into it and think a bit how it can help you with your teaching, you will find out that it is not that useless !
  10. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    They do make loads of noise though. I've started trying to turn mine off unless I'm doing something only the IWB can add to.
  11. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Leddyzepp, everything you mention would work just as well with a projector, instead of a full on IWB, which is a fraction of the price of the latter.
  12. exactly! for this amount of investment...there MUST be something extravagant about this piece of technology..no?
  13. I love my IWB [​IMG]
  14. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I loved having one, but since moving to a school which had none my priority has been to get a projector for each room for my department rather than one IWB for one room and none for the others - we simply wouldn't have the money. I've set up my computer so that I face the class when I'm using it, and I have to say that to my surprise I haven't missed the IWB. I embed listening files into the powerpoints I make so it does happen seemlessly, and I suppose if I'd thought of it I could type or scan the transcripts and put them into the powerpoint too - the back key works just as well to go back and forth in a powerpoint.I often get kids to come to the front and use the good old-fashioned mouse to play the games etc like I would have done in the past, and being out of the projection line means they are less likely to stare straight into the projector.
    I've used both Smartboard and Promethean in the past. With the first I invariably forgot to put the pen back on its support, which meant I was drawing instead of using my finger as a mouse like I intended to; with Promethean kids invariably clicked by mistake on the button of the pen that gave them access to the right-hand click functions (plus with both I had to be really vigilant that no pupil stole my pens).
    I would never have given up my IWB but now I'm in charge of budgets I can see how money can be better spent elsewhere. Now, of course, if I got one for free I wouldn't say no...
  15. Here is a series of posts re: IWBs that are very compelling for not using/purchasing them:


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