Reflect on the reading – what seems to be the most important aspect of using an IWB that will make it a useful classroom tool for learning?
The teacher seems to be the most important aspect of using an IWB. The reading highlighted to me the need for the teacher to be able to adapt their pedagogical style and spend the time needed to plan lessons using the IWB. The teacher must ensure that the technology is being used to its full potential and that the content is relevant to all students, and their own individual learning style. There is a danger with IWBs that they become a vehicle for teacher led classroom learning, however this article, demonstrate that if the teacher is properly trained and uses the research correctly they will be able to captivate and motivate their students to ensure engaged higher level learning occurs. The article clearly demonstrates that content needs to be clear and concise, and whilst bells and whistles help to capture students attention they must not detract from the learning element of using technology.
The fact that “good teaching remains good teaching with or without the technology” (Higgins, Beachamp & Miller, 2007, p. 217) resonated strongly with me. The article shows that we should view IWBs as “the technology (that) might enhance the pedagogy only if the teachers and pupils engaged with it and understood its potential in such a way that the technology is not seen as an end in itself but as another pedagogical means to achieve teaching and learning goals” (Higgins et al, 2007 p. 217).
Therefore from the reading I feel that the most important aspect that will make IWBs a useful tool for classroom learning is the teacher. The teacher must spend time in preparation, the teacher needs solid technological knowledge, the teacher must be willing to include all pupils to ensure open dialogue in the classroom, and finally the teacher must recognise that inclusion of all learners via hands-on interaction will encourage deeper understanding and promote higher thinking for all. There is potential for increasing “pupil participation and reinforce learning” (Higgins et al, 2007 p. 218) through IWB’s. Of course, IWBs are costly tools to include in all classrooms, however, if we as teachers are lucky enough to be able to utilise them in our classroom, it is imperative that we do the technology justice (to aid our new multi- modal learners) and adapt our pedagogy to use IWB’s effectively.
Higgins, S., G. Beauchamp, and D. Miller (2007), Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards, Learning, Media and technology, 32(3), 213-225.