Although there are a number of benefits in using IWBs in the classroom, I would argue that the most important feature of this tool is the fact that it encourages a higher level of independent learning. I see my role in the classroom as someone who not only introduces information, but also as someone who facilitates a students’ ability to take charge of their own learning. Higgins et al (2007, p. 217) argue that “good teaching remains good teaching with or without technology”, and this reflects my own attitude to IWBs. Interestingly, the review conducted on research on the use of IWBs in the classroom also reveals that IWBs have no significant or measureable impact on achievement in the classroom (Higgins et al, 2007, p. 221).
Effective use of an IWB in the classroom, therefore, needs to promote increased pupil participation and interaction in the lesson. Inviting students forward to engage first hand with the technology, and on a regular basis, encourages increased attention in learning. There is also an element of peer teaching when students use IWBs at the front of the class, to present or lead an activity, and exposure to an extensive range of multimodal texts that have not been available through print media.
With such a significant piece of technology at our fingertips, we as teachers need to remember the importance of interactive teaching in the classroom, using this technology to its full potential and purpose, which is to engage students in a greater understanding of how technology can enhance their learning.
Higgins, S., Beauchamp, G., & Miller, D. (2007). reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards. Learning, media and technology. 32(3). p. 213-225.