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Dan Lyndon

Interactive whiteboards

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I have a promethean whiteboard with Activstudio2 and want to jazz up my box of tricks. Has any one got any good tips?

If you haven't already purchased the Robert Powell Publications Raising Achievement in History disks then you really should. They were designed explicitly with Promethean boards in minds.

If your role is a cross currciular one you might also consider persuading your ELC budget holder to purchase the create your own disks

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Indeed I have purchased the CD Rom - now why would you be promoting that Andy? I was thinking more along the lines of creative ways of making the flipcharts interactive or engaging.

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Indeed I have purchased the CD Rom - now why would you be promoting that Andy? I was thinking more along the lines of creative ways of making the flipcharts interactive or engaging.

In response to your plea for help with your whiteboard project I have suggested you use the aforementioned CDs because having been written by teachers they encourage you to use the whiteboard in a relatively intelligent way.

Most teachers love whiteboards because they allow them to teach in the crushingly boring "teacher led" way they always have. The disks I referred to guide teachers in more positive directions with a clear focus on thinking skills

Am I to conclude that you are suggesting that I have some financial gain to make by making this helpful suggestion?

If this is the case then you are a long way off the mark. I was indeed on the authoring team for the original history disks for which I was paid a one off piece rate.

I recommend them to you now because they are good and might just help you. I particularly recommend the "create your own" disks.

Good luck with your engaging flipcharts.

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Interactive whiteboards appear to be very popular with teachers. I suspect this is because they supplement what normally goes on in the classroom. Do you agree. Are they the "killer application" we have been waiting for?

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Only if they are 'interactive' otherwise they are just a wide screen television or powerpoint projector.

How do you make sure your whiteboard is interactive? Do you interactive with it, do the pupils or do you both?

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both - get them up scribbling away, moving around, rubbing out, highlighting, rearranging etc, much more fun. I was at this inset yesterday where most people said that all they did was show ppoint presentations and the odd dvd. BORING!

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I use a white board and I am the only teacher in my school that has one in my room on a daily basis.

I think the novelty of the tricks of the white board is part of the key to its popularity.

I use to show streaming videos. To post up web sites and click through them. Some of the interactivity is students questions driven by on board content.

I used it to use a page of Nazi links that John helped me with on Spartacus.

I get a lot of different use out of it.

The most I have departed from the "crushingly boring teacher led part" (of which I am a firm believer)

was to have me students (16-17 year olds) present ten minutes of lecture to the class supported by a visual aid. Most used the smart board to click on intenet links or more commonly do a power point presentation.

One played a song about the Erie Canal as part of the presentation.

Andy I find that I often think differently about the use of class time than teachers of early teenagers do.

I have used the smartboard as additional bells and whistles and am being encouraged by my administration.

I find that I have gotten behind my usual schedule this year.

Our school has made the daring decision to make all of our students and teachers use tablet pcs within two years, three out the outset. I will be part of the change but I wonder if it is not just for pr purposes because most of our faculty are woefully unprepared to get much use out of them at this point.

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I use a white board and I am the only teacher in my school that has one in my room on a daily basis.

Every classroom in my school is equipped with a data projector and a screen and we are encouraged to use this resource. As for an interactive whiteboard, I do believe we have one or two somewhere in the school, but I don't know anybody who uses one.

The conclusion I draw from my own institution is that access is a key feature of technology adoption. Personally, I don't see the point of planning a lesson around a piece of hardware if it is one of its kind and therefore may be unavailable when I most need it. Furthermore, in my own 22 years' experience with information technology, I've found that the only hardware I feel at home with is the hardware I buy myself or can take home with me so that I can make my mistakes in the privacy of my own domestic surroundings. I can't get an interactive whiteboard into my Nissan Micra.

Another sine qua non of technology adoption is that we define the problem before the solution. If an interactive whiteboard is the solution, which classroom problems cry out for an interactive whiteboard to be that solution? I already have a data projector and a screen in my room and they are well used when I do the "didactic" part of my lesson. I do know the kind of additional benefits that an interactive whiteboard would bring, but they aren't cogent enough to make me want to make a further leap to interactive whiteboard technology. If I want interactivity, there are plenty of alternatives around, both IT and non-IT based, that are simply more convenient at the moment. I would be more open to persuasion if somebody began with a list of typical subject-specific classroom activities and then showed how each of those activities could be enormously enhanced for learners by exploiting this wonderful new technology that is the interactive whiteboard. Just because it's new isn't a persuasive argument for me. I'm too aware of the "Hawthorne Effect", which I came across 15 years ago when I got a little too passionate about the language learning potential of what was then an exciting new technology but is now yesterday's news - Germany's national viewdata system BTX.

David Wilson

http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com/

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I tend to agree with David. I have seen very, very few presentations (by teachers or by commercial companies) that make good use of the interactive aspects of the whiteboard. Most of what I have seen could be done with a laptop and a projector. It appears, however, that there is a new generation of teachers who believe that you have to have an interactive whiteboard if you wish to present something on a large screen.

Bear in mind too that the size of the whiteboard screen can be a handicap if you are presenting in a long room, and reaching the top of the screen (e.g. in order to press buttons) is impossible if you are below a certain height.

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I use a white board and I am the only teacher in my school that has one in my room on a daily basis.

The conclusion I draw from my own institution is that access is a key feature of technology adoption. Personally, I don't see the point of planning a lesson around a piece of hardware if it is one of its kind and therefore may be unavailable when I most need it.

I completely agree and that was part of my point. I have been given assurance, that ebcause I have been using the whiteboard that it will remain in my room. I would not be willing to put in a lot of time learning about the whiteboard (and I too need to believe it is going to be worth my student's education time before I give a new wrinkle a try) features if I didn;t feel confortable knowing that I would have continued access.

I had it set up in my room one day last year and nobody took it out and the kids kept asking about it and I felt guilty about it not get used. So we figured out ways to use it in a productive manner.

I am quite concerned about our school choosing to adapt tablet pcs for the entire school BEFORE more than a handful of us have seen them. That is the yikers in my future, and there has been talk of turning me into a part time integrationist and I had never heard of that as a type of employment before last week.

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I am quite concerned about our school choosing to adapt tablet pcs for the entire school BEFORE more than a handful of us have seen them. That is the yikers in my future, and there has been talk of turning me into a part time integrationist and I had never heard of that as a type of employment before last week.

This is the usual, but definitely not the sensible way to introduce new technology, where the funding all goes on hardware and there's no money or time allocated to technical, let alone pedagogical, training on its use. It's placing the solution ahead of the problem, which isn't even properly defined. School storage spaces are cluttered with dusty examples of unused educational technology because of this short-sighted policy.

What does an "integrationist" do, Raymond? Is it to do with the adoption of new technology, or as the name implies, to do with the inclusion of students with special educational needs in mainstream schooling? I ask because I work in the latter field.

David Wilson

http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com/

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