image: Pablo Garcia Flickr
As I scroll through Feedly this morning after reviewing many peers blog posts outlining their connection with digital technologies throughout their lives, the first article in my feed was about interactive white board resources. The school I am an Aide at uses IWBs, each teacher using them in their own way. I have been able to download the software to my laptop and over the holidays when I don’t have study, children or a household to manage I find the time to sit down and have a play.
Reflecting on the RAT model, there are many ways working with interactive resources can assist teaching and students learning. Certainly when I think of the definition of enhance– to improve or augment, for effectiveness, value or attractiveness. I think that the inclusion of IWBs in the classroom do enhance student learning and increase the effectiveness of teaching. My question is why? What is it that makes those little hands raise up high in the air while little bodies make sounds to attract teacher eyes to them to be picked first?
I could teach Time to the class by giving each student a little cardboard analogue clock and they can manipulate the hour and minute hand as a class simultaneously and all show and share their knowledge and ability of time together. The children will gladly receive the clock and get busy turning the hands but after a while attention strays. When using the Interactive White Board I watch the children contort their little bodies, stretching into the tallest sitting position to be the first chosen to demonstrate their knowledge on the board. This process is prolonged as only one child can interact with the whiteboard at a time but the enthusiasm is maintained.
But why? Edutopia article Why Integrate technology into the Curriculum: The reasons are many, details how technology can reach different learner styles represented in the classroom and provides multiple ways for teachers to assess student understanding.
So back to one of my ‘wants to achieve’ before having my own classroom Using IWBs in effective interesting and engaging ways with students. The school I work at considers itself a ‘John Flemming’ school. One example of what this means in terms of pedagogy and IWBs for us is that they can be used for warm ups, fast paced explicit instruction, usually delivered at the commencement of a literacy or numeracy lesson with content such as sight words or number facts. I would like to develop competency using the program so I can create interesting, fun and engaging activities for my students. FYI our IWBs are operated on the ActivInspire software…..now I just need to find more time to learn how to use it.
Thanks for reading,
Until next time,