Apparently a review of IWB use in London showed little benefit to a child’s progress from the use of IWBs.
Personally I’d be mortified if mine was taken away from me, but whether it actually benefits my pupils is an interesting question.
I can see the argument that many are simply used as glorified data projectors, and at times mine is too. However, when used ‘properly’ and integrated into a well planned lesson I do think that they focus students attention well and can speed up the understanding of ideas and processes.
One significant advantage is that they can significantly speed up my teaching of something, reducing the need for me to stop and draw diagrams, write out sums etc on the normal board. Sure I could have done this before with acetates or a simple projector but not as efficiently.
I still feel that even now, 2 years after the study mentioned above, my use of IWBs is in its infancy, there is a wealth of potential in them that will be unleashed by carefully crafted programs. At present we are very much using our old teaching styles and methods projected somewhat interactively onto these machines. We are often doing this with tools that were never designed for the job (Powerpoint, Excel etc etc). If we could address some of our learning objectives with software of the production quality of modern computer games we could see giant leaps forward.
I have never received training on the use of my board, but as a tech-savvy person have enjoyed finding my own way by playing about with things and seeing what works and what doesn’t. For someone with lesser ICT skills than myself I can see how an IWB is quite daunting.
Which reminds me, I have to help give a training session on IWB use to staff after half-term and this is going to need some careful planning. I guess we’re going to have people turning up with a vast range of ability – so differentiation is going to be key!! Any experience or ideas anyone has for this would be greatly received!