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Can Interactive Whiteboards Enhance Learning? Yes.

by SUMMIT on July 28th, 2015

Can Interactive Whiteboards Enhance Learning? Yes.

Classrooms have come a long way from the dusty chalkboard. In most classrooms, the chalkboard has bowed down in favor of interactive whiteboards. And whiteboards aren’t just “next generation” places to write out the day’s lesson plans. A recent study at the University of Adelaide demonstrated that when used correctly, interactive whiteboards can help students adopt a deeper approach to learning and lead to a more collaborative classroom.

Interactive whiteboards, essentially large touch screens connected to the Internet and controlled with electronic pens, are becoming more popular in classrooms, and teachers and students are seeing some real advantages from using them.

Here are some of the benefits driving educators to choose interactive whiteboards.

Changing the Old-School Classroom Set-Up 

The typical classroom of yore was traditionally set up with all students facing forward, focused on the board as the teacher scribbles notes that they then diligently transcribed in their notebooks. When a student was called upon to answer a question, they approached the board, and picked up chalk (or dry-erase markers). The interactive whiteboard has changed this scenario in a few ways.

Wi-Fi connectivity. Computers can connect to interactive boards. This gives teachers the ability to interact face-to-face with their students while the board displays images and information relevant to the lesson being taught. This “eyes on the students” method increases interaction between students and teacher, and allows students to read their teacher’s body language and facial expressions. Studies show that positive nonverbal communication between students and teachers can have a positive impact on learning.

Tablets in the classroom. Many schools are incorporating and in some cases, mandating, tablet use in the classroom. Tablets can be connected to interactive whiteboards allowing students to write their answers and/or equations, on the board, from their own desks. Teachers have better control over the class and can easier spot students who need assistance when they can monitor their students’ work from one device.

Adapting to Different Learning Styles

Interactive whiteboards support multiple learning styles. They benefit the visual learner who can see associated images and supporting evidence displayed on the screen, while interactive videos are helpful for the auditory learner, and touch screen capabilities engage hands on or tactile learners.

Interactive Whiteboards are Easy to Use 

While interactive whiteboards use advanced technology that parents may have only dreamed of using, they are relatively user-friendly for students and teachers alike.

Without the streaky lines of a dry-erase board or the ghostly chalk imprints of days past, the neat and clean appearance makes images, videos, and text crystal clear, even for students in the back row. There is no cleaning required as it only takes a click of a button to erase notes, and no ink to worry about, as the pens are completely electronic.

Teachers Can Take Advantage of Online Tools

The interactive whiteboard lets teachers add online resources to help reinforce every part of their lesson plan. With access to instructional videos and vast amounts of online knowledge at their fingertips, students easily access more reliable information than any textbook could ever give them. And teachers can use real life examples and visuals to teach harder to grasp subjects, such as math or science.

The return on investment for interactive whiteboards is fantastic. Teachers should take full advantage of the technology interactive whiteboards have to offer when incorporated into their classrooms and teaching methodology. Students will continue to benefit from the variety of learning styles the boards offer, and be engaged by the interactivity these whiteboards brings to learning.

Photo Credit: eBeam via Compfight cc

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