Where's the interaction?

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An interesting powerpoint I came across  which takes into account recent research into the use of IWB in classrooms.  I found it whilst browsing another research blog on blogger.  I agree entirely with the sentiment of the  presentation.  As those of you who have attended my courses know I can not repeat enough the the need for teachers to understand that IWBS are just another teaching tool.  They are not a replacement for you nor will they do all the work for you!

A larger number of teachers than I care to admit often ask me “but what lessons does it come with” when i introduce this technology and although I applaud the use of Promethean Planet and Smart’s resource exchange programs it is vital that we remember that each lesson should be tailored to the needs of our pupils.  We might not want to reinvent the wheel and it makes perfect sense to download someone else’s flip chart or notebook file but once it’s in our hands we need to edit and personalise it.  In fact, eventually,  even improve it and share it back around.  The technology and software that the boards comes with is developing all the time; I change my flip charts almost every time I use them. I add more enhanced interactive features to them where ever I can.

I see interactive whiteboards as a tool which enables my students to lead learning not just for themselves but for others too.  With my board I can scaffold or frame an environment where they can feel confident sharing and discussing what they have learnt.  Student begin to develop confidence in using the tools provided to express their ideas on literature and media.

I jump for joy when I see a whiteboard resource which puts the pupils in control.  Here are a few ideas of how you can do this really easily:

  • Place a keyword from your lesson (or a previous lesson if you’re testing prior knowledge) in the middle of the board.  Turn on your timer and allow the class 2 mins to write up everything they know.  They are only allowed to write one thing each.  This means that they have to pass the pen to another student once they have had their go.  Let them choose who to pick.
    • This encourages team work and engages everyone as they try and share their ideas with the class.  Be warned though… it can get noisy!  Try recording the items they know or how many they were able to recall in two minutes and try it again at the end of the lesson or next lesson.
  • Use containers in Promethean Activ Studio or Flipped text boxes in SMART to allow pupils the chance to come and move information into classified spaces.  In Activ Studio you can even provide instant feedback by having the container only accept the correct answer. That’s the AFL (Assessment for Learning) box ticked!
  • Add objects to the page for pupils to sort.
    • Give them the task to do in pairs first (using a card sort away from the board) and then ask them to demonstrate how they sorted the objects using the board.  This will allow you to extend their thinking through questioning.  Allow other class members to disagree and debate their choices; engaging the whole class in a discussion about how the decision (learning) happened.
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