What is an Interactive Whiteboard?

| August 5, 2015

Interactive whiteboard for higher education

An interactive whiteboard is an instructional tool that allows computer images to be displayed onto a board using a digital projector. The instructor can then manipulate the elements on the board by using his finger as a mouse, directly on the screen. Items can be dragged, clicked and copied and the lecturer can handwrite notes, which can be transformed into text and saved.Interactive classroom

They are a powerful tool in the classroom adding interactivity and collaboration, allowing the integration of media content into the lecture and supporting collaborative learning. Used innovatively they create a wide range of learning opportunities. However, in many environments they are not being used to their full potential, and in many cases acting as glorified blackboards.

This type of whiteboard is now commonplace in schools in the UK, but universities have been slower to adopt this technology. They were originally developed for use in business to demonstrate concepts and record meetings. However, they are an extremely flexible tool which can be used with both the youngest primary school children and university graduates.

An interactive whiteboard can be a cost saver as this technology demonstrates how one computer can provide learning stimuli for a whole classroom. This is more cost effective than equipping an entire IT room, or every student with a laptop.

Examples of the features available when using an interactive whiteboard:
• Add annotations
• Highlight text
• Add notes and drawings and then save them to be printed out and shared, or added to a virtual learning environment.
• Show pictures and educational videos to the whole lecture theatre. You can label parts or highlight elements of an image.
• Demonstrate the content available on a website in a teacher-directed activity

Interactive whiteboard as a pedagogical toolInteractive solutions

This type of tool promotes creative teaching and motivates students into absorbing information.

Teaching with an interactive whiteboard allows lecturers to accommodate all different learning styles:
• Tactile learners get to touch and move things around the board. They can also make notes and highlight elements.
• Visual learners benefit from a clear view of what is happening on the board.
• Audio learners can participate in a class discussion.

How to use some of the pedagogical features of an interactive whiteboard

Any application that runs on your computer can be used on an interactive whiteboard. You can surf the internet, annotate a text document or demonstrate a piece of software.

We will look at some of the tools useful for teaching at university-level using a SMART Board Interactive whiteboard:

Screen shade
Spotlight
Magnifier
Calculator
Pointer

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Category: Interactive whiteboards

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