Interacting with Interactive Whiteboards Chapter TwoA Field Project Presented to the Faculty of the College of Education TOURO UNIVERSITY - CALIFORNIA In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of MASTERS OF ARTS in EDUCATION With Emphasis in Technology By Brandy Shelton EDU 716 July 2010
Chapter 2Introduction Classrooms have been evolving rapidly since the late 1980’s when computers became amore tactile piece of equipment that educators realized could be a part of teaching. Since thenchalkboards have evolved into white erase boards, which are now evolving into interactivewhiteboards (IWB). An interactive whiteboard is a touch-sensitive display that connects to acomputer and a digital projector. Through this connection, a person can control computerapplications, write notes in digital ink, present lessons, and save all work to be shared later(SMART Board Interactive Whiteboards). There is no doubt that the IWB can change the faceof any classroom and how teachers plan and present information. The question seems to be howdo teachers get to a point that they are proficient with the new technology and have integrated itinto their curriculum? The answer doesn’t seem to be too far off of what we already knowabout good teaching: it takes a solid understanding of the content, integrates the technologyappropriately, and has a strong foundation in pedagogy.TPCK Lee Shulman stated in 1987 that there were at least seven categories teachers’knowledge could be categorized into. Pedagogical Content Knowledge was one that heldspecial interest for Shulman because it identified the core bodies of teaching. “[PedagogicalContent Knowledge] represents the blending of content and pedagogy into an understanding ofhow particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented, and adapted to the diverseinterests and abilities of learners, and present for instruction” (Shulman, 1987, p. 8). Runningwith Shulman’s framework on Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Punya Mishra and MatthewKoehler added technology as a component creating TPCK (Technological Pedagogical Content
Knowledge). TPCK is defined as “the relationship between the pedagogy within a subject area(the practice in the setting), the subject domain, culture (the ecology of the setting) and thetechnology (the tool within the setting)” (John &Sutherland, 2005, p. 405). In Mishra andKoehler’s framework content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and technological knowledgeall overlap with one another in the style of a Venn diagram (see Figure 1).Figure 1: TPCK framework as noted by Mishra and Koehler (2007)Source: Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2007). Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK): Confronting the wicked problems of teaching with technology. Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2007.Within this diagram are not only the individual components, but also how they interact with oneanother represented as Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), Technological PedagogicalKnowledge (TPK), Technological Content Knowledge (TCK), and Technological PedagogicalContent Knowledge (TPCK). The knowledge that teachers bring with them to the classroom is
essential because it is how teachers decide how to present information or have students workwith it. When teachers receive a new piece of technology in their classroom their knowledge ofhow to use that piece may not always extend to knowing how to incorporate it into thecurriculum. Using TPCK teachers must make a conscious decision how content or technology-heavy their lesson or unit of study will be.Figure 2: Adaptation of Kosiak and LeDocqu’s (2008) three-dimensional model of TPCK.Source: Kosiak, J., & LeDocq, R. (2008). Connecting preservice teachers’ knowledge of mathematics, pedagogy and technology through learning object design. Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2008, 5263-5270. Using an adaptation of Kosiak and LeDocq’s (2008) three-dimensional model of TPCK(Figure 2), the attention should be drawn to how the three components of TPCK are connectedto one another. Pedagogy is always the base that content and technology is built upon.Depending on the teacher’s decision to make a lesson or unit more focused on the content of atopic, technology becomes less of a focus and more of a supportive tool. For example, a unit’s
goal might be to cover community history and the key figures that helped an area grow andflourish, internet resources or multimedia video would become supplementary to the unit. Onthe other hand, a lesson or unit could be more focused on technology by having students createa project with the content to present what they have learned about the subject. For example,students present the information they have learned about their community history via aPowerPoint presentation or digital story. In the latter example students already have most of thecontent they would need to go forward with a presentation, but may need more instruction onhow to put together a clear and interesting presentation, or how to use the equipment, which iswhy it would be a more technology-based lesson. In this way the TPCK model really helpsteachers understand how technology and content work with one another to develop engagingand interactive lessons.Training Teachers in Technology The prior knowledge a teacher brings with them into a classroom helps determine whattopics are taught, and even more importantly, how they are presented. So what knowledge doteachers need to have regarding technology prior to planning and teaching with it? How do weknow if the training they are receiving is helping them use the technology effectively?As explained earlier, TPCK is the framework that teachers use when developing a lesson or unitthat integrates technology. Some teachers come to the table with prior knowledge on how touse a piece of technology, like Power Point, in their personal life and time. They may knowhow to manipulate a program and work with it in one context, but have trouble transferring thatknowledge into the classroom setting. The cognitive constructivist learning theoryacknowledges that people must be aware of their own beliefs before questioning others orconsidering changing their own beliefs (Hughes, 2005). Teachers must be able to recognize
what they believe about their own pedagogical styles before being willing to change them toincorporate something new, like technology. In this way teachers are often pushed intoprofessional development opportunities that are offered by their school districts and claim togive more insight to the newest technology entering the classroom. Professional developmentopportunities are meant to help teachers develop or refine a skill that they are planning to use, orare currently using, in their classrooms. Many school districts decided to use professionaldevelopment as a way to help teachers integrate the new types of technology into theirclassroom and planning times. Many of these workshops turned out to be short-term or one-shot time periods that were meant to help teachers understand and work with the equipment orsoftware (Hughes, 2005). Most teachers walked away from these development days knowinghow to turn something on and off, or open and close a program, but that was it. They were stillunsure how to incorporate the curriculum or content. McKenzie (2001) stressed that teachersneed more content-based examples and more connections to the curriculum they would use withthe technology. With this newfound understanding school districts began providing morecontent-based technology preparation. “Approaches that emphasize content would targetteachers’ subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in contrast to whentechnology is learned as a separate, unrelated skill,” (Hughes, 2005). These types of workshopsnot only show teachers how the technology works, but it also gives teachers examples of howthey can integrate it into their curriculum and content. It’s important that these workshops aregeared towards teachers’ specific grade levels and content areas, so that they are of use to theteachers that attend them. Because of their short nature, teachers should be able to walk out of acontent-based technology workshop with ideas and lessons that they can begin using as soon asthey begin planning for their next lesson.
Training teachers with technology shouldn’t stop after the professional developmentworkshop. Groff and Mouza (2008) believed that an effective professional development modelshould include training, experimentation, and follow-up support. Most of the workshops thattake place in school districts address the training aspect and some even give teachers time toexperiment and play with the new technology, but most lack the follow-up support aspect.Zech, Gause-Vega, Bray, Secules, and Goldman (2000) presented the content-basedcollaborative inquiry (CBCI) model that addresses the need for follow-up and support after ateacher learns a new skill. These small, collaborative inquiry groups have shown to besuccessful for teacher development because this approach focuses on supporting teachers insharing their knowledge and questions, connects learning to contexts of teaching (site andsubject-specific), and promotes active engagement over time. The CBCI model advocates forteachers at the same school site, grade level, or subject to talk about what questions or strugglesthey might be experiencing in their classrooms on a regular basis. In addition to talking aboutproblems that arise and providing a dialogue to come up with solutions, observing colleaguesteach a lesson or skill that a teacher might need more clarification on can be very helpful. Forexample, if a teacher struggles with how to teach simplifying fractions to fifth grade students,talking with colleagues at the same grade level and school site about the strategies they use canbe very helpful. A colleague might talk about something that was done at a recent workshop ora program that they felt helped their class grasp the concept. Those suggestions become betterilluminated when the struggling teacher can observe her colleagues implement those strategiesby taking a class period to observe the actual lesson or see a review of it. Learning new technology and how to implement it into the classroom is very similar tothe above example with simplifying fractions. Attending a workshop and learning how to use
equipment or software is a good start, but should not be the end of the professional developmentcycle. Training should also include experimentation and examples of implementation in contentand subject-specific curriculum. After the workshop there should be follow-up support built inwithin the school or the district as a whole. Teachers should be able to open a dialogue withone another that includes questions, concerns, and suggestions from one another. There shouldalso be opportunities for teachers to observe one another using the technology or softwarewithin a lesson or unit successfully so that they can find ways to implement it effectively intotheir own teaching.What is an Interactive Whiteboard? Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are touch-sensitive new generation boards controlled bya computer that is connected to a digital projector (Saltan & Arslan, 2009). They wereoriginally developed for offices and businesses, but soon found their way into the classroom.IWBs usually consist of four components: a computer, a projector, the appropriate software, anda large wall-mounted or free-standing screen. The computer can be controlled by touching theboard directly, or with a special pen (Saltan & Arslan, 2009).
Figure 3: Components of an IWB as depicted by Faith Saltan and Kursat Arslan, 2009.Source: Saltan, F., & Arslan, K. (2009). A new teacher tool, interactive white boards: A meta analysis. Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2009, 2115-2120.As described by the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA),some of the potential applications for the IWB are: • Using web-based resources in whole-class teaching • Showing video clips to help explain concepts • Demonstrating a piece of software • Presenting students’ work to the rest of the class • Creating digital flipcharts • Manipulating text and practicing handwriting • Saving notes written on the board for future use • Quick and seamless revision (BECTA, 2003, p.1)
With these basic operations available for use with just about any IWB, the creative possibilitiesare limitless. Teachers are able to create notes on any type of lesson in a digital flipchart, savethe chart for future revision or review, or even print or e-mail it to a student who missed thelesson.IWBs as a Classroom Management Tool Teachers have reported that IWB’s help improve classroom management (Graham,2004; Cuthell, 2004). Students are more likely to be engaged and participating in the lesson,and less likely to be off-task. In a study done by Karen Graham in 2004, teachers found that thepace of the work being completed actually increased due to students’ eagerness and motivationto use the IWB. Students knew that they would have more opportunities to use the technologyif they stayed on task and completed their assignments. Furthermore, students reported thatthey tried harder to pay attention to directions and instruction the first time it was given so thatthey were more likely to move onto a game or other IWB activity. Graham and her teacher’sassistant reported that students did not habituate to the new learning environment, and remainedengaged and excited to learn throughout the study. This was partially due to the fact thatGraham worked hard to involve her students in the lesson, making it more student-centered andless teacher-centered. Graham described different websites that she found useful in teachingand reviewing numerous math and language arts concepts. The use of student-centeredactivities and new educational games and videos both played a large role in improving theclassroom environment and engagement level. Due to these changes classroom managementwas a minimal part of the teacher’s worries and even students noticed the positive change as canbe seen in this quote from one of Graham’s students:
“It has made the class work more. The class loves doing work and it has improved the speed ofwork. Our behavior is always better and every morning I really want to come to school and dosome work!” (Graham, 2004, p. 21)The Challenges of the IWB With great technology, come great pitfalls for teachers to stumble into. Like every otherpiece of equipment that enters the classroom, the IWB isn’t perfect and schools and teachersmust work to find solutions to these new problems. One of the first problems that many schoolscome across is deciding how an IWB should be implemented into the school. Some schoolswork to put one in every classroom, or department, while other schools decide to have one pergrade level that must be shared amongst multiple classes. Surveys done by John Cuthell in2003 found that teachers who had IWBs in their own classrooms were most enthusiastic aboutusing them, and most likely to use them regularly (Cuthell, 2004). Teachers who had limitedaccess to an IWB saw little change in their teaching style and were not as motivated to planlessons that involved the new technology. Another challenge that researchers have found is that most teachers are learning how touse their IWB “on the job” (Shenton & Pagett, 2007). After an IWB is installed many schoolssend their teachers to the installation company, or have a representative visit the school to teachstaff how to use the equipment. However, these tutorials don’t stray far from how to manipulatethe basic controls. From an interview Shenton and Pagett (2007) had with a teacher regardingthe training she had received she said, “we did have someone talk to us when it was installed,but it was very simple – this is a mouse!” (Shenton and Pagett, 2007, p. 132). This often leavesteachers to figure out how to incorporate the IWB into their lessons and daily classroomroutines on their own. Learning to use new equipment without guidance or templates can betime consuming and frustrating. Due to the extra time many teachers would need to spend
making PowerPoint presentations, downloading material, and preparing their own materials,some teachers are simply put-off with the technology and revert to using an IWB like theywould any whiteboard. Shenton and Pagett (2007) found that teachers who were willing to putin the extra time to learn how to use the IWB on their own often looked for outside guidance byevaluating new software or attending professional development courses and workshops.The Stages of Implementing an IWB Much like any new skill, learning how to use and implement an IWB into a classroom’sdaily lessons and routines doesn’t happen overnight. Gary Beauchamp (2004) observedclassrooms and interviewed teachers from a technology-rich primary school in order to build aframework of the continuum teachers work through when implementing IWBs. The stages thatBeauchamp (2004) describes transition from beginner to synergistic user as follows: • Black / Whiteboard Substitute • Apprentice User • Initiate User • Advanced User • Synergistic User (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 330)Beauchamp’s description of learning stages related to the IWB isn’t far off from the “Evolutionof Teacher Thought and Practice” (Apple, Inc., 2006) as described by Apple Classrooms ofTomorrow (ACOT). Much like Beauchamp’s continuum, ACOT’s evolution begins at an“entry” point and transitions to “innovation.”
Figure 4: Evolution of Teacher Thought and Practice as described by ACOT (Apple, Inc.,2006).Source: Apple, Inc. (2006, February). Lessons from the journey: An overview of the Apple classrooms of tomorrow (ACOT). PowerPoint Data file presented at Cupertino, CA.As Figure 4 shows, as the stage of teacher development transitions, the types of training anddescription of use becomes more involved and complex. This is very similar to Beauchamp’s(2004) model because as teachers become more confident and knowledgeable regarding theirIWB, they also become more innovative and creative with the types of activities their classestake part in.Stage 1: Black/ Whiteboard Substitute
When teachers first begin using an IWB they are learning to transition from a traditionalblackboard or whiteboard. The similar writing surface often leads teachers to use the IWB as ablack/whiteboard substitute. Teachers tend to write and draw on the board just as they would ona traditional board, and gradually supplement with word processing files. At this level teachersare still becoming more adept to using the pen as a writing tool, and their finger as a mouse orcursor. Once teachers have mastered basic writing and drawing techniques, they begin tosupplement with word processing files that they have created for a lesson or saved from a lessondone prior to the IWB. Lessons at this stage are still predominantly teacher-centered and do not involve studentscoming up to the board to interact or create on their own. “In effect, the whiteboard is used as alarge screen for a projected computer desktop with the teacher performing normal tasks on thecomputer to a larger audience” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 332). In order for higher-level thinkingand enhanced learning to take place, teachers must transition to the next stage of the continuumand include students with the interaction of the IWB. One danger teachers face in this stage isallowing their IWB to become a presentation board rather than a resource for interactivelearning. This can be avoided by focusing more on questioning during a lesson and bringingstudents up to the board to become familiar with the IWB. At black / whiteboard substitute stage teachers are able to maintain eye contact withtheir students for longer periods of time than compared to a traditional board because they wereable to stand to one side of the board to manipulate the text. This often led to more engagementamong the class, and less classroom management problems during the lesson.Stage 2: Apprentice User
The apprentice user “is characterized by the use of a wider range of existing computerskills in a teaching context” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 334). This usually means that teachers needto be more confident in their computer skills in order to make the jump from a black /whiteboard substitute to an apprentice user. As a teacher’s confidence in their computer skillsand their relation to the IWB grows, their existing computer knowledge can be transferred to beused with the IWB. For example, teachers at the apprentice stage are more likely to save andreopen word processing and native IWB software files. Teachers are also likely to use themlater as evidence of a concept taught, or as a reference for future concepts. It is common forteachers to begin using PowerPoint at this stage as well. The PowerPoint program providesstructure and was the first program teachers advised others to learn how to use once theybecame accustomed to the native IWB software. An apprentice user begins to use more graphics throughout their lessons, however theytend to be clip art that ‘decorates’ the page rather than being used a visual model or for aspecific effect. Although this is a positive step in the continuum of IWB development, the useof ‘decorative’ images can also be misleading for students if the images are inaccurate or detractfrom the lesson content. As teachers become more knowledgeable regarding what is availableon the internet and within their school network, they often become more selective in their use ofgraphics. At this stage teachers are rapidly developing their information and communicationstechnology (ICT) skills. They must learn to begin transferring their skills and knowledge totheir students via the adaptation to “coach, observer, and facilitator” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 335).In this way teachers must be willing to give up some of the control of the IWB and plan moreactivities and lessons that involve student interaction. At this stage teachers can ask students to
highlight with the pen or drag an item from part of the board to another, although the teacher isnormally choosing the appropriate tools for the lesson. The teacher works to build verbal ICT skills along with manual skills at this level aswell. Much like a teacher would teach academic vocabulary related to a core subject such asEnglish, social sciences, or science, IWB/ICT vocabulary is needed when working with theIWB. Teachers often do this be asking questions like, “where should I click?” or “where shouldI drag this item to?” Students are able to pick up on the IWB/ICT vocabulary very quickly inthis manner and often instruct their teacher on what they are doing wrong if a problem arises.For example, if a teacher was unable to use the mouse or cursor, students may instruct themclick off of the pen option. The development of the IWB/ICT vocabulary at this stage of thecontinuum is critical if lessons are going to become less linear and more creative. As students use the IWB more and interact with the technical vocabulary andcomponents on a more frequent basis, there is a possibility that they will know more than theteacher does about manipulating the technology. This can intimidate teachers and hurt theirself-confidence if they are corrected by a student on how to perform a task or fix a technicalproblem. Although some teachers may perceive the free in-service training from students as anegative aspect, it could also be seen as a positive one in that it brings both students and teachercloser to the next level on the IWB continuum.Stage 3: Initiate User An initiate user has reached a stage where they are aware of the potential that the IWBhas to change or strengthen their practice and pedagogy. “Teachers begin to combine their ownskills as pedagogues with those of their pupils, and the IWB, to initiate a classroom practicewhich produces a new pedagogy” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 338). Initiate users begin to use more
programs and software that are selected for their ease of use and appropriateness for the lesson.Teachers in this stage also learn to master opening more than one page or program at one time,allowing them to maximize and minimize each window as needed. With this new skill teachersoften use one program as an introduction to a lesson, and then switch to another to continue thelesson with a more appropriate format. Teachers found that this approach allowed them topresent the content in a variety of formats, thus leading to higher levels of engagement amongststudents. With this approach teachers quickly learned that it was important to have preparedpages or slides to access and revise. The same was true for pre-selected internet sites. Initiateuser teachers realize that the internet has an abundant number of resources available, and havebegun to save them in their Favorites menu within the browser. They often use labeled foldersto organize the different sites as well. Another part of this stage of development is the further involvement of students in theuse of the IWB. The physical interaction that students have with the IWB actually gives themmore self-confidence and builds their self-esteem because they thoroughly enjoy using thetechnology. Teachers are “designing their lessons so that children are now required to extendtheir existing skills” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 339). For example, where before a teacher wouldhave students come up to the IWB and hand them the correct color pen to use to make acorrection, students are now responsible for choosing the correct color to make a correction orchoosing the correct tool to use from the tool menu. These small steps help students and teachermove towards the next step in the IWB continuum, and ultimately become closer to being asynergy user.Stage 4: Advanced User
An advanced user sees the possibilities an IWB has to offer and wants to explore them.“This moves beyond a fascination with technical capabilities, towards the excitement ofdiscovering their impact on teaching and learning” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 340). Teachers at thisstage are likely to use hypertext and hyperlinks within their prepared lessons to encouragehigher level thinking. As teachers revise their earlier lessons, opportunities to include hypertextand hyperlinks often come up due to the greater knowledge that they have at this stage. Manyteachers in Beauchamp’s (2004) study felt that when they looked at lessons they created as anapprentice use there was room for improvement, even though they felt they were great lessonsat the time they created them. Advanced users now have enough knowledge that they see whatcan be improved upon, especially when it comes to past lessons. Teachers are also more likely to use sound and video files to demonstrate concepts thatare difficult to replicate in a classroom. These types of files can be embedded into a file orpage, appear as a clickable graphic, or as a hyperlinked item of a text. Teachers do not usesound and video files to ‘decorate’ their pages or lessons at this stage, but instead to illustrate ateaching point. Scanners are also an integral part of the advanced user’s toolbox. Imported scannedimages from previous lessons, children’s work, textbook pages, and worksheets decreases the‘heads-down’ effect that textbooks often bring about. Teachers have even found that whenstudents have the textbook or worksheet in front them along with on the IWB, students chooseto look at the board instead. The focus switches from the desk material, to the IWB by choice.Another tool that Beauchamp (2004) found some teachers using was the ‘Slate’, “a smallhandheld board allowing remote control of the IWB by teacher or children” (Beauchamp, 2004,p. 341). The Slate can be passed from student to student to add content to a digital flip chart, or
from group to group to do the same, or the teacher can edit or revise student work seamlessly.Another perk of the Slate is that it includes the involvement that students would experience ifthey were to work on the IWB, without the undue movement that can sometimes slow a lessondown. Tools like the Slate, sound and video files, and scanned images bring teachers to the laststage of the IWB continuum.Stage 5: Synergistic User A synergistic IWB user combines all of the knowledge from the previous stages andapplies it to a bigger understanding regarding a teacher’s pedagogical practices. “It is therealization that the IWB can create a new freedom in pedagogy, and is not an end in itself, or ameans to deliver existing practice in another format, which perhaps encapsulates this final stagein the transition framework” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 343). Teachers and students have reached astate of equality in their understanding of how to use and manipulate the IWB. This creates asynergistic state which pushes teachers and students to create new learning scenarios andlessons to achieve learning objectives. Teachers who have reached this stage in the continuumdesign lessons that demonstrate an intuitive interaction with the IWB and incorporate theirstudents in the process as well. Their lessons are student-centered and use different tools suchas internet sites, sound and video files, hyperlinks and hypertext, and scanned images to betterconvey a concept or subject. The teacher still has control of the lesson and direction it shouldtake, but students play an active role in questioning and problem-solving by physicallyinteracting with the IWB. All five stages of Beauchamp’s (2004) learning stages relate to how most teachers movealong the IWB continuum. Many teachers reach a certain stage and stop moving forward, while
few ever reach the final stage of synergistic user. Table 1 outlines each stage and the differentskills both teachers and students tend to master at that level. Operating System Mechanical Skills Program Variables Classroom Management and File Management (MS) (PV) and Pedagogy (OS) (CMP)Black/Whiteboard -Predominant use of text -Teacher learning to -Predominant use of -IWB used by teacher Substitute and drawing. write and draw. native IWB software only. -Limited use of stored -Use of IWB pen in with perhaps one -Quicker pace to files. place of mouse. additional word lessons. -Changes made to files processing program. -More eye contact with and annotations rarely class. saved. -Presentation of information over questioning.Apprentice User -Predominant use of -Children use to write, -Introduction of -Child use of board stored teacher resources. highlight, and drag PowerPoint. planned by teacher. -Files used in lessons are content on the board. -Use of PowerPoint to -Used most commonly often saved for reference structure lessons or part in teaching core or evidence. of a lesson. subjects. -A limited use of -Use of imported -Use of ICT ‘external’ material. existing graphics in ‘vocabulary’ by teacher PowerPoint or to and children when using ‘decorate’ other work. the IWB. Initiate User -Ability to maximize and -Children select tools -Use of a wider range of -Teacher initiated and minimize files to allow and input to the IWB. programs. planned opportunities multiple programs to be -A wider range of for children to select open and switched effects, like sound, in tools and input to the between. PowerPoint. IWB -Use of stored sequence -Use of a wider range of -Used in a growing of pages (i.e. flip charts graphics including those range of subject areas. from the native IWB from other sources, such -Growing use of external program). as the internet, resources (i.e. links to -Beginning to organize specifically chosen for Internet sites). work into “Favorite” purpose and not just folders in the internet ‘decoration.’ browser. Advanced User -Imported use of -Children frequently -Use of video clips and -Children frequently and scanned images (by and confidently use sound files – including confidently use the IWB teacher) from range of the IWB as part of the material developed by as part of the lesson, sources including lesson, often staff. often spontaneously and previous lessons, spontaneously and -Use of hyperlinks and unplanned. children’s work, unplanned. hypertext within and -Use of revised and textbook pages, and -Incorporation of between programs and ‘improved’ versions of worksheets. other input devices external resources. previous lessons, with (i.e. the IWB ‘slate’). emphasis on pupil learning rather than technical facility. -Incorporation of other input devices (i.e. the IWB ‘slate’).Synergistic User -High level of -High level of -High level of -Teachers demonstrate confidence by pupils and confidence by pupils confidence by pupils and an intuitive interaction teacher. and teacher. teacher. with technology which facilitates a fluid lesson structure. -Both teacher and pupils
are able to construct meaning and dictate the direction, momentum, and scale of the next step in the lesson.Table 1: The stages of IWB implementation as adapted from Gary Beauchamp (2004).Source: Beauchamp, G. (2004). Teacher use of the interactive whiteboard in primary schools: Towards an effective transition framework. Pedagogy and Education, 13(3), 327-348.Summary IWBs have changed the face of classrooms all over the world. They have pushedteachers to reevaluate their pedagogical practices, and made schools and districts rethink theirprofessional development choices. Using Lee Shulman’s definition of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Shulman, 1987),Punya Mishra and Matthew Koehler added technology to the model, creating TechnologicalPedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) (Mishra & Koehler, 2007). This model stood on theidea that teachers use a strong base in pedagogy to guide their lessons in content andtechnology, with a balance needed in each area in order for a lesson to be adequate for studentunderstanding. With the new technology that enters our classrooms, such as IWBs, so do theopportunities for professional development either within our schools or school districts. Theseworkshops have been geared toward aiding teachers in basic operation of software andequipment, but lack the real guidance most teachers need in order to incorporate the newtechnology into their planning and curriculum (Hughes, 2005; McKenzie, 2001). Many districtsare now looking at workshops that offer explanation, time for experimentation, and instructionthat is grade or subject-specific so that teachers are able to walk away with ideas they canimplement right away. These types of professional development opportunities are much morehelpful than those geared towards basic operation, but still lack a follow-up component that
supports teachers once they head back into the classroom. Follow-up support and peerobservation are both essential pieces of the professional development cycle. As IWBs entered classrooms, many teachers loved them and hated them at the sametime. The technology behind them was astounding and the IWB engaged students the momentit was turned on, but many teachers were struggling with how to use them effectively rather thana fancy presentation platform. Researchers have found that teachers who have an IWB in theirclassroom are more likely to use them on a regular basis and more openly incorporate them intotheir lessons and daily routines (Cuthell, 2004). Teachers also found themselves learning howto use the boards “on the job” and spending much of their own time and energy creatingmaterial and learning how to use the software outside of school hours. Some professionalsfound themselves attending extra workshops or professional development days to learn how touse the software and equipment more effectively, while others simply used the IWB as theywould a traditional blackboard or whiteboard. The stages that most teachers go through when implementing an IWB into theirclassroom and curriculum is outlined by Gary Beauchamp (2004). The continuum Beauchampdescribed began at a new IWB user, or black / whiteboard substitute, and continued to anexperienced user, or synergistic user. With each stage in Beauchamp’s framework teachers andstudents become more knowledgeable of the IWB’s uses, and more equal in their ability to thinkcreatively and problem-solve in the context of a lesson. Although all teachers do not reach thehighest level of IWB implementation, those that do become synergistic users, incorporatestudent-centered lessons intuitively, and use various tools and formats to engage their studentsand present concepts appropriately.
There are still many more questions that teachers are still asking themselves when itcomes to the limits of an IWB, but our focus now should be on how to most effectively reachstudents with different subject matters via the IWB. What strategies work best at teachinglanguage arts, or math concepts? How can we apply what we know about more traditionalteaching to the technology-based IWB? An even better question is, how should schools andschool districts go about preparing their teachers for IWB implementation as a classroommanagement tool and within their curriculum? Although more research is becoming availablein these areas, there is still more that needs to be done, particularly in the United States. IWB’sare not a fad that will dissipate in a year or two. They have proven themselves to be an integralpart of any 21st century classroom, therefore learning to interact with them effectively will notonly help our students, but also our teachers.
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