Friday, January 30, 2009

Interactive Whiteboards

I’ve been reading and thinking quite a bit about Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) this month. I’ve had one in my classroom for 5 months now, and I want to make sure that I am using it well.

What does it mean to use an IWB well? Is it becoming an integral part of my teaching? Are the kids touching it regularly? Are the lessons that I am using it for “interactive”? I think that these are questions that I will need to continue asking myself over the course of the year.

I have realized that it is easy to put stuff on the board and talk about it, but that isn’t really the kind of teaching I want in my class. So I should be aiming for more inter-active lessons. This raises the issue of time. I was chatting with a colleague who bemoaned the fact that it takes so long for the kids to come up to the board, it is easier to run the board herself. I try to remind myself that this is not a big toy for me, and the kids will not get nearly as much out of an interactive lesson if they are simply supplying answers while I interact. Besides, the time it takes for one student to walk to the front is good thinking time for those who need to mull things over a little longer.

As long as I keep monitoring my use, I think that I will continue to find new and exciting ways to use this tool. Now, I must set about modelling this approach for my fellow teachers. By March, we will have IWBs in every classroom, and I would like to have most of them being used effectively every day.

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