Interactive Whiteboards: Your Thoughts?

Hello everyone, my name is Greg Odell.  This is my initial post on the GLMA Blog.  I am honored to be asked to contribute here.  I work as an e-Learning Specialist with Hall County Schools, and I am in my 15th year as a teacher including 7 years as an elementary media specialist.  I look forward to the conversation.

If you were asked what the ideal 21st century classroom should include, would you include an interactive white board (IWB)?  Do they really change instruction in today’s classrooms, or do they encourage teachers to hold on to traditional practices?  I’m still trying to make up my mind on this issue.  I welcome your comments.  Thank you.

Gregory Odell

e-Learning Specialist

Hall County Schools

Gainesville, GA

Twitter:  ugaodawg

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Posted on December 31, 2010, in Technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You are right on that point. I guess I’m into technology despite my advancing years, and I am continually shocked at teachers who say they don’t have time /desire to learn how to use the new technology. Teaching is not a static profession and involves being a lifetime learner – otherwise how can we possibly teach our students to continue learning in a world where change and technological evolution are the only constants…. Still, I guess I benefited from everyone else’s lack of desire to learn as I was the one that got the smart board. We’re just getting ready to move to GA, so hopefully, I’ll get lucky and find a job that will let me continue developing my technology skills.

    Jan

  2. IBWs are like all other technology. Their effectiveness depends on the person using the technology and what they do with it. We have SmartBoards in every classroom in our elementary school. The innovative, forward reaching teachers are using it to be more innovative and provide more student engagement in their learning. The stuck-in-the-mud teachers are using it to stay stuck in the mud. When used properly (where lessons are crafted and planned for) the combination of IBW, projector and Internet bring the entire world into the classroom in a safe but engaging way.

    • Could not agree more with you. So, why are IWBs being installed in teachers’ rooms that have no interest in using them in a student-centered way?

    • I absolutely agree. I just came from a district (outside of GA) where I was given a smartboard with no training. My principal knew that I was passionate about technology and that I d figure it out, no matter how much time it took. I did find some workshops, and bought a few very good books and spent a lot of time playing. It is vital to offer teachers sufficient initial training on how to use the smart board effectively if it is to be worth the extra money. The initial training should be followed up with additional training to share effective ideas and troubleshoot things that are not working as well as hoped. The combination of a smart board and a teacher who knows his subject and the technology cannot be beat… I also think that the installation of a smart board requires a great deal of planning on the part of the administration. Which teacher will get the smart board is only one part of the problem. Where the smart board will be in the school, and in the room (i.e. freestanding or wall mounted) are important. Whether or not additional wiring will be necessary should be investigated. If training is available, will the teacher be willing to attend training, and later to share the knowledge with other teachers. In my experience, it’s a good idea to set up a lesson plan database using a wiki where teachers in the same district can share what they have developed – that is a huge timesaver for all teachers, but especially for those that are given a smart board prior to actually being able to attend training.

      • I agree about the importance of training and planning with IWBs, but the user also has to have a desire to use the technology appropriately for it to happen.

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