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Interactive White Boards
Many schools throughout Australia are looking at the possibilities for introducing Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) technologies into classrooms. This resource aims to provide schools and leaders with information that can assist in decision making.
An IWB with appropriate software in the hands of a good teacher can be a powerful tool for teaching and learning. A school wide implementation is a very expensive proposition and so it is important to develop a strategy that includes careful consideration of professional development, appropriate pedagogy, sharing of resources, selecting appropriate hardware and software etc
The term "Interactive Whiteboard" is in itself a confusing term as there are many different approaches - all of which claim to be "interactive". Research findings into these technologies is varied and links to research are provided within this resource.
In the UK schools IWB technologies have been heavily promoted by the UK government. Australian educators have watched with interest and research from BECTA has been the topic of debate amongst many who are interested in the best use of ICT in schools.
IWB resources can be found on this UK web site.
There is currently an upsurge of interest in Australia with many schools already purchasing IWB technologies.
In South Australia there are four main players in the IWB market although there are many others available. In order of market share the boards most commonly used in schools are the Smart Board, Promethean ACTIVboard, Team Board, Polyvision Webster Board and Hitachi Starboard. Each of these IWBs have features that are unique and the choice will depend on the suitability for individual needs of schools. Considerations include price (including sometimes very expensive installation costs), access to training, software options - sometimes free and sometimes at added cost.
Some schools are happy to have visits to discuss and demonstrate the ways in which they are integrating the use of IWBs into the curriculum. eg Principal of Lockleys North Primary School - Ann O'Callaghan - email@example.com is happy to discuss and showcase the IWB integration at her school using the Promethean ACTIVboard. Lockleys North Primary School is also involved in a research project with Flinders University lecturer Dr Trudy Sweeney looking at IWBs and the impact on teaching and learning.
Dr Trudy Sweeney has summarised the thinking about IWB technologies, pedagogies and successful curriculum integration in this Powerpoint presentation (141 Kb ppt file) based on her research project.
Robin Cross is the music teacher and ICT systems manager at Braeview JP and PS. He has documented his journey in the integration of IWB technologies using the Promethean Activboard.
Judy Beal - Assistant Principal - Learning in a Digital Age at Woodcroft Primary school has documented her experiences with IWB technologies in RamPage magazine - read the article here (1.5Kb Word doc). This article also has many useful web links.
The Smart Board web site has a range of training videos showing a variety of curriculum uses.
There have so far been three PLICT funded research projects into IWB technologies in South Australia. One project was conducted at Ingle Farm Primary School another at several Anangu Aboriginal schools and one at Unley High school.
As IWB technologies develop the range of options is ever increasing. The following low cost solutions are new to the IWB market and could be worth considering if the budget is very tight or if the required feature set does not need to be extensive.
For more information about this web resource please email Jim Edson - firstname.lastname@example.org