The use of smart interactive whiteboards through classrooms has become a popular trend in recent years. Give there’s sometimes legitimate complaints about them and their ease of use, what is it that keeps drawing educators back to this innovative new technology? Especially when IT budgets in schools are often strapped for cash and the IWB can represent an investment of resources? A host of great learning advantages might be the answer, allowing better communication, furthered collaboration and advantages over the traditional chalk board.
What does an interactive smartboard do?
The smartboard is effectively a large white screen that links up with computer and projector technology to enable you to interact with presentation in a way not available to the traditional whiteboard medium. You can even have video presentations throughout the interactive whiteboard. It allows real-time interaction, and whilst learning material can take a while to set up through the integrmated software, it can be saved for reuse later on. This makes for a profound difference in learning accessibility for a large range of students. Traditional whiteboards cater to only one demographic of learner, whilst a well-planned IWB lesson can cater to those who learn visually, those who prefer auditory stimulus and more. This presentation of the learning matter through multiple channels helps learners retain and process the necessary information. The use of modern technology is more engaging and draws the learner into the lesson, rather than appearing standoffish and more like a traditional lecture.
Encouraging communication and interaction.
The smartboard images can also easily be printed and saved, making for a better note taking format and sparing slower writers from holding back from participation because of the need to scribble furiously. They can listen through the lecture engaged and focused on the interactions at hand. This idea of the shared work area helps create a sense of inclusion and integrates the whole student body into the learning process, rather than forcing them into the role of information receivers only. This can, in turn, encourage learners with certain learning disabilities to come more out of their shell, and help all students access the material in a meaningful way.
Other advantages of the smartboard
Smartboard also allow the student body to provide instant feedback and participation via interactive controls and more technology integrated with the system. It’s easy to ask questions and prevent confusion, as well as draw learners into the learning process. Smartboard has many more advantages you can read in detail here http://www.ehow.com/list_5969640_advantages-interactive-whiteboards.html. Given that the IWB embraces modern technology that has so saturated the lives of learners everywhere, it is also likely to appear more engaging to the modern learning generation then older, less exciting and less familiar technologies. In a generation used to sharing and participating in everything, from eating a meal to brushing their hair, a piece of technology more open and familiar to the world they inhabit will seem comforting and engaging next to older teaching methods which separate learner and educator.
While an increased reliance on technology in the classroom does come with some pitfalls needing addressing, the scope and potential the smartboard opens up for learning is immense.