Monday, September 14, 2009

Interactive Whiteboards

I was very excited when I learned that this article was about Interactive Whiteboards. Last week I shadowed in a sixth grade classroom at BJHS. The teacher was using the board as a tool in class, and the functions were simply amazing. I have never seen one used the way she used it. I've seen people write directly on it, but I've never seen them use it as a touch screen. She scrolled through instructions for what to do in class, and even drew diagrams with it. This technology is something I'm really looking forward to learning about so I can use it in my classroom.

Another technological advancement that is awesome is the use of handheld technology. It is amazing that everyone has such easy access to it now. The fact that everyone can access information so quickly and easily, means that we can spread new information faster and wider than ever before. A student could be home sick, but still getting the lesson delivered to them on the couch. The spread of ideas can take hold even quicker, and new ideas can move from hand to hand in a matter of seconds.

One of the greatest aspects in the use of the Interactive Whiteboard is the fact that you can incorporate so many different types of technology. One lesson can reach every student and his/her personal style of learning because it can incorporate technology from many different sources. How could students not pay attention when there are so many different interactive things going on in the front of the classroom?

I understand that many people are worried about students becoming too involved in their own work and not interacting, but handheld tools can be very helpful. While in the classroom, the teacher can put any student's work up on display. This action forces students to work hard because if their work is posted, the student wants to make sure it is correct. This could also cause problems in the fact that it could lower a student's confidence in his/her own work. As long as we learn to use the technology in a positive manner, it will be very helpful in teaching students of all different learning types. The teacher needs to be in control at all times, and the use of personal, handheld devices needs to be monitored, but with all this technology the classroom will evolve into a great new atmosphere.