Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Interactive Whiteboards

I think that interactive whiteboards can be extremely beneficial to the classroom environment. As this article stated, teachers can include media and technology resources within their lessons which can broaden students' knowledge of the world outside of the classroom. Having an interactive whiteboard helps to engage students in the learning because they not only see, but can actively participate in the lesson. I've found that when younger students can physically do things, they often better retain the presented information. I therefore agree that the interactive whiteboards can "bridge personal and public learning spaces." This board can provide classrooms with a cental point for evaluating, sharing, and discussing different ideas and information.

From my observation experiences over the past 3 years, I've found that interactive whiteboards are frequently used by both students and teachers. I've had the opportunity to teach a couple of lessons using a smart board and I've seen that students positively respond and maintain focus throughout the entire class time. Often students fear going to the board in the front of the class, but with smart boards students can't wait to show their answer to the class. I don't think that this should be the only method of teaching in the classroom, but overall I think that interactive whiteboards positively influence interactive learning when used properly.

Interactive Whiteboards

My first experience with the interactive whiteboard was last Thursday in class. I will admit that I had a lot of fun playing around with all the different features. After reading the article, I realized that not only is this fun, but this is the sort of technology that enhances teaching, not hinders it.

Children are able to express their creativity and imaginations through interactive whiteboards. It is easy to learn when learning is fun, and the interactive whiteboard provides a fun way to learn. Technology is always improving, is always changing, but I think the interactive whiteboard is a technology that teachers find easy to use as well as it being very helpful in the classroom.

When I go in to shadow the students that I tutor through the Promise and Potential Program, I have seen first hand the interactive whiteboard be a very useful tool for the teaching process. The teachers enjoy using it and the students enjoy playing with it and all the while, the students are learning. I think it is a great balance between technology and teaching.

One to One Learning

Interactive whiteboards and other similar forms of classroom technology pave the way towards an innovative way of teaching and allow for "numerous benefits that continue beyond the walls of the classroom for students and teachers" (p. 3). They engage students' interests in lessons that could normally make them feel imprisoned in the classroom, as well as allow for different ways of teaching - such as to the class as a whole or in groups or even one-to-one attention. They also open the path for multiple media forms of education by integrating video, music, animation, and the like into lessons.

During my time as a coach in the Promise and Potential program, I saw these benefits first-hand as students suddenly went from falling asleep to jumping out of their chairs the minute the SmartBoard was turned on in their classroom. It caught students' attention like nothing I have ever seen before, and I hope that I am fortunate enough one day to have a classroom that can afford the use of a SmartBoard.

Interactive Whiteboards

When I first started thinking about interactive whiteboards, I did not support it very much. I thought that interactive whiteboards took away from students' learning experiences. I thought the technology got in the way of the learning. After reading this article and playing around with the SMART board, I realize my opinion was wrong. Interactive whiteboards, such as the SMART board, actually increase participation and help keep the students' interests present. Students are also able to learn more with this technology. Using a normal chalkboard or whiteboard can be very monotonous to students. I did not have much technology present in school and can remember being very bored just staring at a chalkboard for hours at a time. I would daydream and did not pay attention. Using an interactive whiteboard will keep students' attention and increase learning. Students can actually touch the board and manipulate it to answer questions.

The only aspect that bothers me is that not all schools can afford for every classroom to have such technology. We can only be so lucky to teach in a school that has a SMART board present in most classrooms.