Higgins, S., G. Beauchamp and D, Miller (2007) co-wrote an article examining literature on interactive whiteboards (IWB). A number of benefits of using the IWB’s were listed, and having been on professional experience, I can agree to a number of benefits identified and also respect the disadvantages acknowledged as well. IWB’s are an excellent tool for whole-class teaching, as all students are able to view the content easily due to the size of the screen. Higgins, Beauchamp and Miller (2007) explain that IWB’s allow teachers to present a variety of representations and aspects of display more generally and ultimately are able to meet the needs of a wider range of learners. Having taught in kindergarten recently, I became quite reliant on the IWB for my lessons as the larger images on the screen were more engaging and consequently had an effect on behavior of my students in the classroom. During literacy lessons, I was able to show students digital versions of the stories we were studying in class, and could easily ask students to come to the board to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the concept being taught. Higgins et al (2007) also mention that an IWB makes it easier for teachers to incorporate and use a range of multimedia resources, such as written text, pictures, videos, etc. I used the IWB for handwriting lessons, unit of inquiry lessons, literacy lessons and many other activities. For unit of inquiry, we could jointly construct written text about our experiment as well as add photos we had taken on our Ipad during the course of the experiment to document the process. However, the article does highlight some disadvantages of introducing an IWB into the classroom, which I believe are completely valid. IWBs can be more expensive to purchase than other display technologies, they are difficult to maintain and present many difficulties when out of use (Higgins, et al 2007). During my professional experience after having three weeks of becoming accustomed to using the IWB for my lessons, the board malfunctioned and was out of use from then onwards. I had to go back to using a whiteboard, and found it extremely difficult as planning grew in size and previous lessons were saved on the IWB, whereas the normal whiteboard lessons could not save. Saying that, it takes a little bit of time to revert back to “the old ways”, and then it was not so much of a drama. Overall, having an IWB in the classroom is a great tool to have for lessons and engaging the students. However, we need to make sure we are effective in how we manage our planning and lessons when technology decides to malfunction.
Higgins, S., G. Beauchamp, and D. Miller (2007), Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards, Learning, Media and technology, 32(3), 213-225.