The past to the current trends of the Interactive White Board (IWB)
Trends of ICT in schools started with the “grotty photo copied type written black and white” presentations of the light overhead projector (Tolley). Yes , the projectors were widely available and considerably cheap to run and use, but they were known and criticized to be very boring, time consuming and learner unfriendly.
The blaring yellow light and the faint black writing were hard to focus and were boring. Very rarely did the teachers integrate any other needs into the slides (e.g. Integrate pictures and video/ dvd). This meant that students didn’t focus and therefore didn’t contribute positive towards the lesson.
The projectors are time consuming. Physically the teacher had to find the next slide, put it on the projector, and then commonly then refocus the machine. This lost time is when the students ‘switch off’ and lose focus.
I remember while at school doing a lesson on the projector, the slides were unappealing, the mood of the class was very boring and the time and ‘switch off’ time between the slides were huge and thats why they are the negatives of the light projector.
Of increasing PC’s in schools, the Computer Projector was introduced. With very little skills and unknown capabilities of the Computer Projector from the teachers part, the classes became just the same as the overhead projector. And it turned the lesson sometimes into a lecturing hall.
The computer projector brings the Microsoft PowerPoint into play. PowerPoint has many multi-media capabilities and can be used for basic lessons or for very detailed and informative lessons. With the use of pictures, hyperlinks to the internet, and the use of color, this appeals to towards the learners, and therefore addresses their learner needs.
But unfortunately many of the presentations weren’t what they could be. The teachers were ‘proudly’ reading what is on the screen and send the audience into boredom.
As Tolley explains the underlying principle of enhanced visual aid in the computer projector, has been lost from the teachers bad performance.
And the last bad thing about the computer projector, is that the slide is always controlled by the teacher, and what is saved on the screen cannot be added to, slowed down to, or changed because it is what the teacher has made for the lesson.
The most current and most learner friendly trend is the Interactive White Board (IWB) in our schools.
Students always want to be stimulated by something, this can maybe be done by a video, image, text, colors etc. The IWB allows for all of these to be displayed at one time.
There are many resources avaliable for teachers to ensure effective use of the IWB. One great example is the great online help from Promethean planet. This is an online community where you can upload and download your IWB lessons and/ or evaluate other peoples. http://www.prometheanplanet.com/.
The high interactivity of the IWB brings the power into the hand of the teacher, but also into the students. One IWB program is the Smart Board format Program, this allows the teacher and students to make slides according to what is needed.
IWB are a positive influence in every classroom but you have to make sure the teacher has enough training to bring its full capabilities into action. That is why many universities (including Wollongong and NotreDame Universities.) do an IWB/ ICT in schools subjects to change the view and ways ICT are used in schools.
Positives of IWB are that teachers can manipulate and change objects in direct response to students needs. This means that the teacher can slow down, go faster, delete objects, add things to slides according to the students needs.
Good teachers add to IWBs all types of relevant images, videoclips (or URLs), sound files, graphic organisers and Learning objects. These are used to bring all learner needs into play.
IWB/ SmartBoards have a great tool where students can get up infront of the class and write on the board themselves. This is a whole new ICT tool that for the first time students have the ability to contribute to the lesson themselves.
The IWB is one of many current trends of ICT in schools. All recent ICT in schools are there to make learning more involving, more exciting and more learner friendly. The new ICT in schools (including IWB), i believe that students are becoming better students, smarter children and because of the changing technological times, the students are learning easier (because they have spent their entire lives surrounded by technology.).
– Albion, P (28th June 2005). Emerging trends in ICT & education. Available from: http://www.usq.edu.au/course/material/edu5472/content/mod11.htm
– Hollis, J (11th September 2007). SmartBoards in the Classroom. Available from: http://www.teacherslovesmartboards.com/2007/09/smartboards-in-.html
– Kent, P. (2008). Interactive whiteboards: A practical guide for primary teachers. Melbourne: Macmillan Teacher Resources.
– Tolley, R.J. (ND). Notes on the use of IWBs in schools. Available: http://www.maximise-ict.co.uk/IWBs.pdf
– Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L., & Holliday, M. (2006). Literacy reading, writing and children’s literature (3rd ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.