Teaching with Interactive White Boards

Interactive White Boards (IWBs) have become a widely adopted teaching tool in schools across the globe over the past several years or so, and it appears that these powerful educational tools will not be going away any time in the near future. In fact, studies have shown that "White Boards," as they are most commonly called, have a great deal of benefits, both for our 21st century students and teachers alike.

Today's post is dedicated to highlighting the "awesomeness" of teaching with IWBs, and how teachers are using them in today's 21st Century classrooms.

Classroom Applications:
The most popular white board in schools nationwide is the SMART Board; others rounding out the top three being the Promethean and Mimio boards. Each of these types of white boards include the following classroom applications, which are what makes them so admired by 21st Century students, teachers, and schools:

  • Multimedia lessons and presentations including audio and video
  • Collaborative problem solving
  • Showcasing student projects and presentations
  • Virtual field trips
  • Recorded lessons that can be used by substitute teachers
  • Documentation of student achievement (NEAMember Benefits, 2016).

The Research:
Most importantly, however, are the proven studies on the positive impact on teaching with interactive white boards.

From the available body of research, several themes and patterns have emerged, including the positive effect interactive whiteboards have on student engagement, motivation, the ability to accommodate a variety of learning styles (including special needs students) and the capacity to enhance student understanding and learning. Observations also indicate that designing lessons around interactive whiteboards can help educators streamline their preparations and be more efficient in ICT integration, thereby enhancing their overall productivity (SMART Research).

Study results indicated that, in general, using interactive whiteboards was associated with a 16 percentile point gain in student achievement. This means that we can expect a student at the 50th percentile in a classroom without the technology to increase to the 66th percentile in a classroom using whiteboards (Marzano & Haystead, 2009). 

Results were especially pronounced at the fourth and fifth grade levels and significant interactions between achievement gains and grade levels were found in both mathematics and reading/language arts (Swan Report, 2009)

Teachers whose students scored above the mean on both assessments were found to use the whiteboards more frequently (almost every day) than the teachers whose students scored at or below the means on these tests (Swan Report, 2009).

How 21st Century Teachers Are Using Interactive White Boards:

1. Busy Bee Word Study by Hedy Dowstra-Cox: 

Busy Bee Word Study Smartboard lesson and HTML Game is two educational applications in one! The Smartboard lesson introduces word phonemes with practice that will help children identify words with short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds, blends, final blends, double consonants, and controlled r words. This app is presented in a game format to motivate and excite children who are developing their reading skills.

2.  Bar Graph Creation by Miss Middle School Teacher:

This is a 24 slide lesson introducing students to graphing and graph analysis.

3.  Big Words for Big Kids by Gunderson's Goodies:

This ActiveInspire flipchart allows the teacher to read the clue, then click on the corresponding number to make each word appear on the ActivBoard. There are also cards for each lesson for students to move around to relate the various root words, etc.

4.  Kindergarten IWB Igniters by From the Pond:

These are short, simple drag-and-drop games for the white board.

5.  Number of the Day by Cat's Designs:

Using the random number generator tool the teacher generates the number of the day. Using further random generators select numbers to add , subtract, multiply using the number of the day.

6.  Text Message Dialogue Graphic Organizer by April Whitehead:

Engage students of all ages in written expression with this write-your-own text message dialogue pack.

7. Pre-Primer Sight Words SMART Board Notebook by Your Teacher Assistant:

Teach emerging readers, ELLs, and RTI the pre-primer sight words: a, go, I, the, up, with this highly interactive SMART Board, complete with audio, writing, reading, and comprehension features. 

IWBs on Pinterest:
Finally, I wanted to remind you that Pinterest has a plethora of resources for your IWB, no matter your grade level or the content you teach. Take a look at the boards below and have fun pinning! Just click on the image below.

Yes, interactive white boards are here to stay! They are interactive, fun, and highly engaging. They inspire teachers to teach and students to learn more than ever before.  If you have not already started using your IWB, I encourage you to find the clicker for it, blow the dust off, and get started today.

If your school is not using IWBs yet, I encourage you to make a fuss, present the research, and ask, Ask, ASK AGAIN, until you get them. The research speaks for itself. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how much these awesome tools can change your life as a teacher.

How are you using interactive white boards to teach?

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