Saturday, September 12, 2009

Interactive Whiteboards

Reading this article, I found myself slightly frustrated with the amount of emphasis put on using interactive whiteboards alongside of personal devices in the classroom. Although using both together would be ideal, and the software for both is absolutely incredible, I have to wonder how many classrooms and schools actually can afford to use both. Very few high schools actually have students use tablet PCs in class. So although I did find the studies interesting, I don't know if I will ever get the chance to use that kind of technology. I would love to see face-to-face what using both forms of technology in the classroom can do for a student's learning. Especially as an English teacher, I feel like using interactive whiteboards in the classrooms could really help a student get more interested in English. Too often English is the dreaded subject of some students, and I would love the opportunity to use the interactive whiteboards to spark their creativity within the subject.

My high school did not use SmartBoards, but we did have several teachers using tablet PCs in the classrooms. I will admit that my interest for Calculus was much higher when my teacher was using her tablet than when she was using the plain whiteboard. She had a keen sense of how to make the tablet interactive for all of us in the classroom, which was extremely impressive considering that there was only one tablet PC in the whole room. So I think that the interaction between the students and the teacher can be achieved just as well with only one form of technology rather than both. Both is obviously ideal, but when only one is available, it is very possible for the teacher to come up with activities that make the students involved in the lesson.


jmonaco said...

My post was very similar to yours, Kathleen. It seems like we agree a lot on how realistic it would be for classrooms to have interactive whiteboards AND personal computing devices for students. Of course it could enhance a student's learning experience, but where would all the funds come from?

My calculus teacher also used a tablet PC, and it really helped illustrate some new concepts. It kept all of us students interested in the topics and really helped us visualize completely new concepts.

Danielle said...

I agree that right now it seems pretty ridiculous to imagine having an interactive whiteboard AND personal computing devices in one classroom, but it might be in our futures. When I was first reading, I was on your page- but then I thought of how it was when we were little. There weren't computers in our classrooms and we were lucky to have a projector! But now there are computers galore! The article mentioned that the prices of such devices keep getting lower, so maybe in another ten years it will be common for students to use personal computing devices and teachers to all have SMART boards. I think we should hope for it, because as you said, it would beneficial!

Ben D. said...

I agree with you Danielle. I guess I never thought how computers were rare when we were little and now they are quite common. That just proves that as time goes on, technology becomes more prevalent in schools. I was just thinking about how expensive they were at the current time without incorporating how time will decrease the price. I guess my only question goes back to the schools that still can't even afford computers. I know you posted on my blog that they could maybe get Smart boards in place of books and other classroom resources, but what if that is not the case. I guess I am still struggling to how those schools would be able to benefit from technology.