The interactive whiteboard has been considered standard equipment in schools for some time. It was reported that 90% of surveyed Primary schools throughout the world had access to at least one Interactive Whiteboard.
Reasons for this can be found in the digital interactivity they provide. As well as feeling natural as a substitute for the chalk and blackboard combo teachers had grown accustomed to.
Interactive whiteboards did change the classroom years ago, but change was happening on the periphery. Today’s solutions offer far more connected experiences, bringing added efficiency and joined-up advantages when implemented correctly.
Once a well-connected, high-spec, visual-quality screen has been found, the next challenge stems from embedding this within the school’s day-to-day teaching and activities.
Recently, discussions around interactive whiteboards drove them to the point of contention. Some teachers felt their prices and maintenance costs were not worth the payoff. Some say it’s the inevitability of teachers being glued to the front of the classroom with their backs to their students. Others think it’s all about how you use them.
One school said they use interactive screens throughout the school to promote their ‘five-a-day’ videos; designed to get the children up, moving and energized.
In the classroom, screens’ success depends on degrees of confidence with tech throughout teaching teams. All should share the same vision; embracing technology and making sure children are digitally competitive.
Interactive whiteboard manufacturers have tried to tackle these problems. Some have allowed multiple people to use the whiteboard at the same time.
It would seem that the only option is to provide interactive whiteboard access to every student. As examples have shown, that’s just not realistic with a single device. There are ways students can connect to interactive whiteboards with their own devices, but that requires additional preparation and adds to the complexity. Either way, students wouldn’t be able to work individually at the same time.
At Explain Everything, we’ve been working with teachers for the past eight years, gathering data and working on solutions that serve the student-centered classroom. We’ve made it our mission to solve these problems and have outlined the crucial traits of a modern interactive whiteboard.