How Interactive Whiteboards Enhance Learning and Classroom Interaction
Across the globe and increasingly here in South Africa, many educational institutions are replacing the traditional whiteboard with interactive whiteboards in the classroom to aid and encourage learning. Indeed,an interactive whiteboard has plenty of benefits over its older counterparts and if used effectively, can play a significant part in enhancing a student’s learning experience and promoting classroom interaction.
Interactive whiteboards are highly versatile and can be a powerful learning tool in any educational setting, whether it a primary school or a university. The educator can use different forms of media, including annotation, photos, illustrations, videos, and even games,to aid students.This is only bound to enhance the learning experience and make it more dynamic. At the same time, it provides space for teaching different types of content and educators can even create lesson content on the interactive board.What’s more, the content on the screen can be saved and shared over a network with the students for them to use as future reference or attend class remotely.
A teacher, using an interactive whiteboard,can use the various forms of media available to better demonstrate the content and give a more visually accurate representation of illustrations,particularly for visually important topics including, for example, biology, physics and math.Research has proven students respond better to displays where colours and visuals are used, and retain the information for a longer duration. The system can cater to a wide range of learning styles, for instance visual learners can learn from what is displayed on the screen while aural learners can learn by listening and taking part in discussions. And with the touch capabilities interactive whiteboards offer, tactile learners will face no issue. The use of interactive whiteboards also encourages students to use technology and even improves their critical thinking process.
Effectively using interactive whiteboards boosts attentiveness in students, particularly younger ones, as they are less likely to get bored or distracted as there is plenty on the screen to keep them engaged. The use of interactive whiteboards promotes group discussion in classrooms and this helps students gain more interest in the subjects being discussed. And as the images on the interactive whiteboard can be saved, shared and printed, students do not need take down any notes during the lectures.This gives them the space to ask more questions, thus facilitating discussion and interaction, increasing the overall participation in the classroom and gets the student more engaged and focused on what is being taught.
The use of interactive whiteboards allows for integrating of various technologies for a more enhanced learning experience.For instance, it can be plugged in to an electronic microscope or visualizer and provide a more effective means of visual learning. The device can also be connected to different devices, locally or remotely, making it the perfect tool for collaborative and distance learning. So, as you can see, there are numerous ways in which interactive whiteboards enhance learning and classroom interaction.