‘Interactive’ Whiteboard Training

Our school has purchased a number of SMARTboards – Interactive white boards for use in our new Infants Building. This is a great new facility, and, while I’m a self confessed IWB skeptic, I went along to the first training session with an open mind. Maybe, the presenter will really show us how to use these boards in an interactive and engaging way…

Sadly, I walked away at the end of a 90 minute session disappointed. Don’t get me wrong. Sure, the SMARTboard can do some pretty cool stuff, and I was impressed with the software and how easy it was to use.

But…

Replace the IWB with a blackboard / whiteboard?

So much for ‘Interactive’. We spent (as learners) the whole 90 minutes of the session glued to our seats watching the presenter demonstrate the capabilities of the board. I could image a group of teachers having almost the same training session with the technical innovation of chalk and blackboards… the method of instruction has not changed at all…

I wonder if (hope?!) this will change during subsequent sessions!

However…

After just going for a walk up around the brand new Infants block, I AM excited that 4 of 6 classes were actually using the SMARTboards in some capacity. (The other 2 had students presenting in some way). Regardless of what my personal opinions are regarding IWBs, it was great and encouraging to see teachers having a go, and actually using the technology. They are clearly excited – perhaps I need to focus on this excitement and use it to help them find truly interactive and engaging uses of technology.

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