Interactive whiteboards (also known as smart boards) can be described as instructional tools which allow for computer images to be accurately displayed a board with the help of a digital projector. The elements on the board can then be manipulated by the instructor using a mouse, stylus, pen or his finger and this is done directly done on the screen. It allows items to be clicked, dragged, copied and even the handwriting of notes is possible. The handwriting can then be easily transformed to text before being saved. The board is usually mounted onto a wall or even to a floor stand. It can be used in work places as well as in classrooms of different levels of learning.
In this article, we offer a number of creative approaches to using Interactive Whiteboards. Whether you are an avid user of this technology, or someone who has held back, we hope that some of these ideas inspire you!
Display. Interactive whiteboard in the classroom can be used by educators to improve the presentation content. This can easily be achieved by developing an array of material into a lesson e.g. a picture from the internet, text derived from a Microsoft Word file, graphs from spreadsheets and teacher and student annotations on the objects.
Presentations and Projects. Students can present multimedia projects with the whiteboard, controlling the entire presentation without touching a computer keyboard.
Web Streaming and Video. Teachers can show streamed or downloaded video clips. Clips embedded into multimedia presentation programs can easily be shown as well. The interactive features of the whiteboard allow users to pause, circle, annotate, highlight, and more. Of course, a DVD or VHS player can be connected to the projector, too.
Encouraging Critical Thinking.
Interactivity. The use of interactive whiteboard in the classroom allows pupils to actively engage with material, receive instant feedback on current projects and to manipulate learning objects.
Internet Access. Using interactive whiteboards in the classroom allows for the immediate access to all the content that the internet has to provide. This is beneficial because queries can be answered instantly through a Google search as audio, video and images are all easily accessible.
Group Interaction. Interactive whiteboard in the classroom is perfect for the purpose of group participation and discussion. It is a highly effective tool for brainstorming because notes that are made on the screen can be transformed into text and consequently saved for later sharing and distribution.
Using student-recommended materials.
For Students with Special Needs. Interactive whiteboards may be beneficial to students with special educational needs.