Interactive WhiteboardsThe current trends for ICT in the classrooms would have to be Interactive Whiteboards or IWBs, standard PowerPoints and over head projectors are technologies of the past. Teachers are now able to include their students in the teaching and learning process in a interactive way. Students of today are growing up with technologies, which are also growing and changing themselves; it is therefore teachers duty to stay up-to-date with technology so students are kept interested in the classroom just as they are in the outside world.
I think that as the technology of IWBs is available for schools to use, it should be used properly for students to benefit from e-Learning, as students will feel empowered and independent in their learning. Teachers can create lessons and activities on IWBs with straight forward instructions for the class to be apart of and interact with their lessons.
Peter Kent's (2008). Interactive whiteboards: A practical guide for primary teachers, is a great book for primary school teachers to learn and be guided through practical ideas of using the best of a IWB. In chapter 1 and 4 Kent introduces and explains the significance of IWBs and e-Learning. Kent highlights that students live in an increasingly technology-centred world, and whether technology is significant at home or not students need to develop skills to prepare themselves for a future that will involve a forever growing technology world (Kent, P. 2008).
Another good resource for learning about IWBs is an article by Tolley, R.J. (ND). Notes on the use of IWBs in schools, this goes through the processes to get the most out of your IWB, from safety tips for you and your IWB to interactive programs and remote access. Students can benefit largely from IWBs if they are manipulated properly. Tolley speaks to his readers in a way that teachers who are not technology savvy, can still understand and make use of the tips and ideas provided.
I think it's important to consider all type of learners when working with IWBs and make sure everyone can learn at their best. Visual learners can benefit from IWBs as they can include graphics, diagrams, tables and can include colour to assist learning. Auditory learners would benefit from sound files that are added to the activities on the IWBs, that would include YouTube videos, songs and recordings of their teacher explaining a task or giving hints to choosing the correct answer. Tactile learners would learn best from being actively involved in using the IWBs, making sure these students are chosen to use the pen on the IWB and make tactile decisions during the learning process.
Programs that are used for IWBs allow teachers to create stimulative activities that enforce a cognitive learning experience. Teachers can make activities that build upon literacy and numerate skills, students are more likely to be cognitively and creatively stimulated if they feel apart of the lesson and enjoy the ICT aspects of the lesson.
Teachers also develop their creative skills by making new and different ways to teach a lesson through IWBs, using samples and then growing further to create an appropriate lesson for their students.
Here is a poll taken by teacher of how they felt about IWBs
Tolley, R.J. (ND). Notes on the use of IWBs in schools. Retrieved From: http://www.maximise-ict.co.uk/IWBs.pdf
Kent, P. (2008). Interactive whiteboards: A practical guide for primary teachers. Melbourne: Macmillan Teacher Resources.