The Role of Interactive Whiteboards in Today’s Classrooms

Today’s classrooms feature one or more technology-related learning tools. Educational institutions have incorporated technology in classrooms to improve students’ learning environment. This move has encouraged teachers to utilize various assistive technologies including computers and projectors as a better way of delivering information to the learners. With these presentation tools, educators can enrich their lessons with various audiovisual techniques to win students’ attention and collaboration thus promoting an interactive classroom environment. Teachers can do a lot with these tools including highlighting, coloring and annotating important content allowing students to have a better understanding of various concepts.

An interactive whiteboard is one of those peripherals that are highly used and valued in the classroom to boost student learning environment. This board is connected to a computer and a projector and the user can seamlessly control what’s displayed with any pointing device. Because this is a new technology, little research has been done on its effectiveness on student performance. Nonetheless, teachers who’ve already taken advantage of the technology have reported increased student attention, a factor that is often directly linked to performance. These boards can either be mounted on floor stands or on the wall. While some boards use a USB cable to connect to the computer, latest and advanced models use Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect to the projector. Other models even come with integrated projectors behind the screen making them very convenient to use though they are a little bit pricey.

How to Use an Interactive Whiteboard

Educators and instructors can seamlessly integrate various capabilities of an interactive whiteboard to showcase important content to their students. Some of the various ways in which teachers can use these boards include:

  1. Highlighting and coloring of crucial information
  2. Scrolling up and down & flipping back and forth to review certain details for better understanding of complex concepts
  3. Drawing and using pictures for discussions, shared reading & collaborative problem-solving
  4. Dragging and dropping to match items
  5. Using tutorial videos and interactive websites to create interest
  6. Using the internet to provide more information
  7. Manipulating and synchronizing contents from various sources to provide detailed information

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Students also play a crucial part when it comes to the use of these display systems. They can use handheld voting devices to enter answers to various questions. Charts and other tools will then display the percentage of the students who gave the correct answers. Teachers can acknowledge the correct answers using virtual applause.

The Benefits of These boards Have Led to

  1. Enhanced social interaction in the classroom
  2. Increased student interest and attention
  3. Newer and better learning environments
  4. Improved performance as research shows that a person can easily grasp visual content than written information.
  5. Efficient learning for the visually impaired students as the content displayed can be zoomed with ease
  6. Interactive classroom sessions that can be recorded and saved for future references

With this powerful tool, there is a great chance of fostering pedagogical practices in the classroom. There is still a lot to be learned on how to effectively use these tools to promote performance. Nonetheless, we cannot compare the benefits coming with the use of an interactive whiteboard with the traditional chalkboards.

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