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.