Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive whiteboards, or IWBs, project a computer screen onto a board and are controlled by a pen or finger.

Smith, Higgins, Wall and Miller suggest that there is insufficient evidence to suggest the impact of interactive white boards upon learning (2005). Smith et al. (2005) further suggest that the literature concerning IWBs is ‘overwhelmingly positive’ despite the lack of evidence that the technology enhances learning.

Many manufacturers of interactive whiteboards seem to suggest that they are a ‘magic pedogical wand’. This manufacturer suggests that IWBs will transform teaching practices. Interactive whiteboards are often marketed as tools that can transform unengaging and ineffective lessons into exciting and enriching learning experiences.

According to Kearsley and Schneiderman students need to be meaningfully engaged in learning experiences through collaboration with others and authentic tasks (1999). Simply installing an interactive whiteboard in a classroom will not facilitate engaging, meaningful and effective learning. However, using an interactive whiteboard to support meaningful learning experiences that are linked to ‘real- world’ contexts may enhance learning. Interactive whiteboards need to be viewed as one of the many ‘tools’ or ‘resources’ that can support learning, rather then an answer to all pedagogical challenges.

When used in purposeful, engaging and collaborative learning contexts, IWBs are an innovative and flexible teaching resource. This site can be incorporated into IWB lessons and provides an example of how this technology can enhance literacy learning experiences.

Interactive whiteboards present many opportunities for education and can enrich student learning. IWBs can align with the active learning and ICT learning design framework when they are used to support authentic learning tasks.

*Image of interactive whiteboard retrieved from


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