Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) have become commonplace in a large number of Australian classrooms. As Lacina mentions, there has been suggestion of the interactive whiteboard causing students to be ‘spectators’ rather than critical thinkers (2009, para. 2). If this is the case, I would suggest that the interactive whiteboard is not being utilised appropriately. While is is a great tool to share visual content with students, it is also a great tool to create interactive and collaborative learning environments. For example, students can collaboratively create a piece of writing, an artwork, a presentation or a collage using the interactive whiteboard. Of course, the utilisation of this technology depends on the software and hardware it is used with.
The interactive whiteboard has a multitude of benefits such as appealing to visual learners and more interactive and engaging content (Lacina, 2009, para. 6). For this reason, the interactive whiteboard can be en extremely effective tool when used in a variety of ways to deliver a range of content. Conversely, the mere cost of such technology can be a significant factor in deterring schools from providing such tools (Winzenried et. al., 2010, p. 1). Additionally, the use of an IWB only as a projector to display content can become as monotonous as writing on a chalk board and disengage students. In order to utilise an interactive whiteboard to its full potential, a variety of presentation, interactive and visual content must be used. Like any classroom technology, the success of the IWB depends on how effectively it is implemented into teaching and learning strategies to successfully convey content.
Winzenried, A., Dalgarno, B., & Tinkler, J. (2010). The interactive whiteboard: A transitional technology supporting diverse teaching practices. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 26(4).
Lacina, J. (2009). Interactive whiteboards: creating higher-level, technological thinkers? Childhood Education, 85(4), 270-272