Monday, February 27, 2012

Interactive Whiteboards

The Center for Academic Technology (CAT) at The University of the District of Columbia makes available several Interactive Whiteboards (IWB’s) also called Smartboards to faculty members to support the use of high quality educational technology in the classroom. An IWB is a presentation device that is touch sensitive and designed to synchronize with a computer and digital projector. Users can display the computer desktop, computer applications and internet websites on a large screen, which can be seen and manipulated by those present. Anyone using the IWB can make notations to the screen using a finger, mouse, stylus or other tools and save those notations to the presentation. The first IWB was manufactured by SMART Technologies Inc. in 1991.


IWB Blog1


IWB’s enhance organization and allow faculty the ability to deliver interactive lessons that can be saved and reviewed at a later time. They may be used to share information for mini-lectures, demonstrate activities, show video clips and images to enhance a lesson and much more. They may also be used by students to engage in the learning process.

The literature tells us that learning and the construction of knowledge is reinforced when learners review, manipulate, and engage with the curricular content. Interactive Whiteboards provide rich learning opportunities for engagement and support learning and social activity.

Still, a recent New York Time post suggests that the high cost of IWB’s may be a concern as administrators with limited or reduced budgets find it difficult to make large purchases. Additionally, some argue that Whiteboards facilitate learning that is teacher-centered, rather than student-centered.

While such arguments may have some merit, a high quality Smartboard can cost less than $2000.00, as such, I would argue that the investment is well placed in terms of engaging learners with educational resources that are current while providing useful tools to enhance learning. Additionally, I would argue that IWB’s like any technological resource can promote positive or negative outcomes depending on how it is scaffold into the pedagogical approach. Having a well-conceived strategy for using IWB’s, that aligns pedagogy and course outcomes will ensure that it is always a value add to the classroom. To lean more on how to use an Interactive Whiteboard in your classroom, please go to

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