Interactive whiteboards (IWB), since their invention in 1991, are revolutionizing the way concepts are taught in classrooms and training rooms.
The interactive whiteboard comprises of a large touch-enabled board that is connected to a computer and projector. The images or text from the computer is displayed onto the whiteboard. The presenter can move the images around or draw circles, write texts on the images on the whiteboard. These changes can be saved and emailed as well.
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
How IWBs enhance learning
Plenty of research has been done on the efficacy of interactive whiteboards on learning. Studies indicate that the use of interactive whiteboards enhances the motivation levels of students besides improving the efficiency of teaching. Classrooms that used IWBs experienced faster learning pace and lesser time required to complete group projects. Many schools in Australia, U.S. and other countries extensively use IWBs in elementary education settings. In Turkey, IWBs are used in high school levels as well.
- IWBs are effective in improving academic performance and student achievement according to studies. Using visual aids such as IWBs enhance learning by 200%, according to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin.
- Students benefit from a higher degree of engagement and active participation in the class rooms with the IWBs.
- Researchers have proven that the ability to move, zoom in and manipulate images and text improves learning.
- IWBs help students retain what is learnt for a long time besides improving recall. Studies done at Columbia University showed that visual aids can improve retention by 38%.
- Difficult concepts and mathematical problems are easier to understand and solve using IWBs. The time taken to explain these concepts is reduced by almost 40% according to a study.
Ways to use IWBs in classroom setting
Here are some interesting ways to use IWBs in classrooms to add to the wholesome learning experience:
Learning geography can be fun and exciting with a combination of Google Earth and IWB! Install Google Earth to virtually transport students to the location being studied. Rivers, mountains, terrains, locations, monuments can all be brought to 3D life with the IWBs.
Virtual field trips
Walkthroughs and virtual field trips are increasingly becoming popular with many heritage sites and tourist places. These field trips can be an extremely engaging way to learn more about the heritage, culture, cuisines, places of historical relevance, and so on. The virtual tours can also be used to give a brief introduction to a place before the actual visit to help students understand better.
Group project presentations
The class can be divided into different teams with each one requiring to present a multimedia project. The project will encourage group interaction and cooperation besides testing their multimedia and presentation skills.
Many resources are available for IWBs, including interactive flipcharts, that can be used to teach a concept or take the students through the steps involved in a process. These flipcharts can have embedded videos or images that the students have recorded as part of their assignment.
For younger children, IWBs can be used to make learning great fun with interactive games, simple spelling contests and video clips.