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#Edchat: Do Interactive Whiteboards really promote Interactivity in the classroom?

Posted Jan 05 2010 3:52pm
This is the answer hundreds of teachers wanted to respond in the regular #edchat held all Tuesdays on Twitter. It is true that teachers sometimes are reluctant to change and as Devia Stefaan puts it in this comment, the change needs to come from the inside of teachers and institutions.

Mary Ann Bell agrees the Whiteboard is interactive. (IWB) Users can be contributing directly by input both at the computer and at the board, she writes, to refer just one of her dozen reasons she thinks IWBs are a success. "The interaction that transpires between the person at the computer, the users at the board, and the computer itself is a unique and very adaptable arrangement," Bell concludes.

For people who may still be unfamiliar with the term, an IWB is a large display that connects to a computer and a projector.

Robert J. Marzano is an authority in IWBs. In his Final report on the evaluation of the Promethean technology, he (along to Haystead, M.) found that even when these tools have become popular over the last few years, "in 23 percent of the cases, teachers had better results without the interactive whiteboards."

Some of the most interesting tweets we grabbed out of the #edchat, were:

1. I prefer to use the term "Interactive" as exchange between persons OR mutual manipulation. IWB tends to be one way - @mattguthrie
2. With all technology a lot of hands-on PD is necessary. Teachers need training to learn how to foster interactivity. @cybraryman1
3. The "interactive" part of the IWB is between content and user. Student interaction depends on good design -like all other instr @geraldaungst
4. Without teacher training and support Interactive White Boards will be more of a white Elephant. @tomwhitby
5. The term 'interactive' in IWB refers to intellectual interactivity rather than physical interactivity... yes?? @Mrs_Dem

Conclusion: IWBs will promote interactivity in the classroom but it is limited to availability of equipment, the presence of a well trained faculty and the wish of all school involucrates to move out of the comfort zone.

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