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  • 1. Interacting with Interactive WhiteboardsA Project Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Education By Brandy Shelton Touro University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of Masters of Arts In EDUCATION With Emphasis in Educational Technology by Brandy Shelton December 2010
  • 2. Interacting with Interactive Whiteboards In partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the MASTER OF ARTS DEGREE In EDUCATION BY Brandy Shelton TOURO UNIVERSITY – CALIFORNIA December 2010Under the guidance and approval of the committee and approval by all the members, thisfield project has been accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree.Approved:___________________________ ___________________Pamela A. Redmond, Ed.D. Date__________________________ ___________________Jim O’Connor, Ph.D, Dean Date
  • 3. TOURO UNIVERSITY CALIFORNIA College of Education Author ReleaseName: Brandy SheltonThe Touro University California College of Education has permission to use my MAthesis or field project as an example of acceptable work. This permission includes theright to duplicate the manuscript as well as permits the document to be checked out fromthe College Library or School website.In addition, I give Dr. Pamela Redmond permission to share my handbook with others viathe Internet.Signature: __________________________________Date: ______________________________________
  • 4. i Abstract Interactive technology is becoming a mainstay in many classrooms all over theworld. Although some teachers are finding it easy to make the transition into the digitalworld, others are struggling to stay caught up and work the technology into their lessonsand classrooms. Interactive whiteboards are a perfect example of a technology that has beenimplemented into classrooms without teachers really understanding its capabilities, orhow to use it as anything more than a projector. If the technology is available, why notmake sure our educators are educated in ways it can be used most effectively? Thisproject examined interactive whiteboards in the classroom and provided strategies thatare effective at improving students’ understanding of the content.
  • 5. ii Table of ContentsLIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................... IVLIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................. IVCHAPTER 1 ......................................................................................................... 1Statement of the Problem ............................................................................................................................ 1Purpose of the Project .................................................................................................................................. 4Project Objectives......................................................................................................................................... 4Definition of Terms....................................................................................................................................... 5Summary ....................................................................................................................................................... 5CHAPTER 2 ......................................................................................................... 7Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 7TPCK ............................................................................................................................................................. 7Training Teachers in Technology ..............................................................................................................10What is an Interactive Whiteboard?..........................................................................................................14IWBs as a Classroom Management Tool...................................................................................................15The Challenges of the IWB .........................................................................................................................16The Stages of Implementing an IWB .........................................................................................................17 Stage 1: Black/ Whiteboard Substitute .....................................................................................................19 Stage 2: Apprentice User ..........................................................................................................................20 Stage 3: Initiate User ................................................................................................................................22 Stage 4: Advanced User............................................................................................................................23 Stage 5: Synergistic User ..........................................................................................................................25Summary ......................................................................................................................................................27CHAPTER 3 ....................................................................................................... 30Background of Project Development .........................................................................................................31What Can Be Done to Help New IWB Users Now? ..................................................................................34Components of the Project..........................................................................................................................36Focusing on Language Arts ........................................................................................................................36
  • 6. iiiSummary ......................................................................................................................................................40CHAPTER 4: ...................................................................................................... 42Project Outcomes.........................................................................................................................................42Proposed Audience, Procedures, and Implementation Timeline: ...........................................................44Evaluation of the Project: ...........................................................................................................................45Conclusion ....................................................................................................................................................46REFERENCES ................................................................................................... 48APPENDIX: FIELD PROJECT .......................................................................... 53Interacting With Interactive Whiteboards ................................................................................................53
  • 7. iv List of TablesTable 1: The stages of IWB implementation as adapted from Gary Beauchamp (2004). 26 List of FiguresFigure 1: TPCK framework as noted by Mishra and Koehler (2007) .................................8Figure 2: Adaptation of Kosiak and LeDocqu’s (2008) three-dimensional model ofTPCK…………………………………………………………………………………….. 9Figure 3: Components of an IWB as depicted by Faith Saltan and Kursat Arslan, 2009.14Figure 4: Evolution of Teacher Thought and Practice as described by ACOT (Apple,Inc., 2006)………………………………………………………………………………..18
  • 8. Chapter 1 New technology entered our schools at a rapid speed at the beginning of the 21stcentury. It took the form of laptop computers or document cameras, and. in 2010, as theinteractive tool called the interactive whiteboard (IWB). Unfortunately, just becausethese tools are in the classroom, doesn’t always mean that there is adequate training forthe teachers who are supposed to use it. It is common for teachers who receive an IWB to attend a one-day trainingsession in order to learn how to turn the board off and on, orient the screen, and performother basic tasks. Teachers often walk away feeling that the new tool awaiting them hasmore uses and functions in their classroom and curriculum than they know what to dowith. Both novice IWB users and teachers with tech experience still have many of thesame concerns and questions regarding the new support tool. What are the best strategiesfor using an IWB in order to engage students? How can an IWB engage students anddeepen their understanding of the content? Are there proven strategies that will help raisestandardized test scores when a teacher uses an IWB?Statement of the Problem Many researchers investigated the above questions and the result and effect oftechnology on the teaching and learning community as a whole. A study done by Ertmerand Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2010) delves into the idea that teachers of the 21st century werestill using the same tools as those who came before them. Unlike the doctors andmechanics whose diagnostic equipment has evolved and changed with the technologyavailable, classroom teachers are expected to teach to higher standards with the same
  • 9. 2equipment and knowledge that was available ten to twenty years ago. “It is time to shiftour mindsets away from the notion that technology provides a supplemental teaching tooland assume, as with other professions that technology is essential to successfulperformance outcomes” (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010, p. 256). With thisunderstanding comes the fact that teachers need to be taught “how to use technology tofacilitate meaningful learning, defined as that which enables students to construct deepand connected knowledge” (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010, p. 257). Simplyunderstanding how to use a digital camera or presentation software is not enough.Teachers need to learn how to use these tools to make their lessons and content moreinteractive and vibrant, and how to teach students to use the same tools to express theirown understanding of the content. Teachers have been using Shulman’s (1986, 1987) framework to conceptualize ateacher’s knowledge for over twenty years. According to Shulman (1986), teacherknowledge includes knowledge of the subject (content knowledge), knowledge ofteaching methods and classroom management strategies (pedagogical knowledge), andknowledge of how to teach specific content to specific learners in specific contexts(pedagogical content knowledge). “To use technology to facilitate student learning,teachers need additional knowledge and skills that build on, and intersect with, those thatShulman (1986) described” (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010, p. 259). Well wheredoes this additional knowledge come from? Ertmer and Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2010)argue that teachers need to redefine their understanding of what good teaching looks likein this new day and age, and once their definition has evolved they then “need to seeexamples of what this kind of teaching looks like in practice” (p. 277). They also believe
  • 10. 3that one of the best ways to support the change that teachers need to make in theirteaching is by “providing opportunities for them to witness how the change benefits theirstudents” (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010, p. 277). Borko and Putnam (1995) alsobelieve that more is needed than professional development opportunities for teachers inthe area of technology when they said, “The workshops alone did not change theseteachers. It was listening to their own students solve the problems that made the greatestdifference in their instructional practices” (p.55). Teachers need professionaldevelopment to help them understand the technology and tools that they are able to workwith, and then they need the opportunities to see examples of it being used in aclassroom, or even better, in their own classroom. The technology pieces that teachers are learning to work with come in manypackages and can support the classroom, teacher, and student learning in many differentways, but what about IWBs specifically? Are IWBs able to really make a difference in astudents’ understanding of the content? According to research done by Swan, Schenker,and Kratcoski (2008) the use of IWBs in a K-12 setting can positively affect standardizedtest scores in both language arts and mathematics when used with strong teachingstrategies. It was how the teachers in the study used their IWBs to convey the contentthat ultimately made the difference in whether or not students’ test scores fell below orabove the mean on average. Using the IWB in a way that presents information tostudents similar to how a teacher might give a lecture isn’t the most effective method;rather making the lessons and topics more student-centered and less teacher-centered ishow students become a key part of the teaching and learning process. Showing teachers
  • 11. 4how to get from presentation-mode to interactive-mode is the challenge, and those strongteaching strategies are the building blocks to unlocking the potential of the IWB.Purpose of the Project The purpose of this project was to research the best strategies and methods forusing IWBs in a K-12 classroom. With this information the author put together ahandbook that will help teacher’s current lessons move away from being teacher-centeredto more student-centered by utilizing the interactive piece of the whiteboard to its fullestpotential. The study used articles, journals, and observations to collect data on this quicklygrowing problem within the author’s school district. Questions the author sought toanswer research were: • How do most teachers combine their IWB knowledge with their pre-established content knowledge? • What problems do most teachers come across when learning how to use their IWB? • What ways do most teachers use their IWB once they feel comfortable with the technology and the tool? • What strategies can make the IWB more interactive and student-centered?Project Objectives The objectives for this project included the following goals. To provide guidanceand support for teachers to:
  • 12. 5 • combine their content knowledge and teaching pedagogy with the new technology and opportunities offered by the IWB • identify common methods that teachers use to teach language arts and methods to adapt those activities to include the IWB as a transitional step towards a more effective and engaging teaching style • examine research-based instructional methods regarding effective conditions and strategies that increase student achievement while teaching with the IWBDefinition of TermsInteractive Whiteboard - An interactive whiteboard or IWB, is a large interactivedisplay that connects to a computer and projector. A projector projects the computersdesktop onto the boards surface, where users control the computer using a pen, finger orother device. The board is typically mounted to a wall or on a floor stand.Summary School systems must begin to educate teachers in the most productive uses oftechnology in today’s classroom, otherwise all of the technology tools in the world won’thelp our students reach their greatest potential. It’s important for teachers to understandthat even though the skills and strategies that were around in the twentieth century stillwork, they aren’t as effective more student-centered and interactive strategies. Researchhas found that IWBs can make a positive impact on students’ understanding of content,but it is the most effective strategies that will help teachers use the IWB to its highestpotential. The author has put together those strategies and methods to make the transition
  • 13. 6for teachers who are new to IWBs easier and more efficient in the form of a handbook.The goal of the handbook is to give teachers a reference point to improve language artslessons, effective strategies that increase student achievement, and the tools to makenovice IWB users more comfortable with the technology.
  • 14. 7 Chapter 2Introduction Classrooms have been evolving rapidly since the late 1980’s when computersbecame a more tactile piece of equipment that educators realized could be a part ofteaching. Since then chalkboards have evolved into white erase boards, which are nowevolving into interactive whiteboards (IWB). An interactive whiteboard is a touch-sensitive display that connects to a computer and a digital projector. Through thisconnection, a person can control computer applications, write notes in digital ink, presentlessons, and save all work to be shared later (SMART Board Interactive Whiteboards).There is no doubt that the IWB can change the face of any classroom and how teachersplan and present information. The question seems to be how do teachers get to a pointthat they are proficient with the new technology and have integrated it into theircurriculum? The answer doesn’t seem to be too far off of what we already know aboutgood 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.“[Pedagogical Content Knowledge] represents the blending of content and pedagogy intoan understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented,and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and present for instruction”
  • 15. 8(Shulman, 1987, p. 8). Running with Shulman’s framework on Pedagogical ContentKnowledge, Punya Mishra and Matthew Koehler added technology as a componentcreating 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 the technology (the toolwithin the setting)” (John &Sutherland, 2005, p. 405). In Mishra and Koehler’sframework content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and technological knowledge alloverlap 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 contentknowledge TPCK): Confronting the wicked problems of teaching with technology.Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education InternationalConference 2007. San Antonio, TX: AACE.
  • 16. 9 Within this diagram are not only the individual components, but also how theyinteract with one another represented as Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK),Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), Technological Content Knowledge(TCK), and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK). The knowledgethat teachers bring with them to the classroom is essential because it is how teachersdecide how to present information or have students work with it. When teachers receivea new piece of technology in their classroom their knowledge of how to use that piecemay not always extend to knowing how to incorporate it into the curriculum. UsingTPCK teachers must make a conscious decision how content or technology-heavy theirlesson or unit of study will be.Figure 2: Adaptation of Kosiak and LeDocqu’s (2008) three-dimensional model ofTPCK.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. Las Vegas, NV: AACE.
  • 17. 10 Using an adaptation of Kosiak and LeDocq’s (2008) three-dimensional model ofTPCK (Figure 2), the attention should be drawn to how the three components of TPCKare connected to one another. Pedagogy is always the base that content and technology isbuilt upon. Depending on the teacher’s decision to make a lesson or unit more focusedon the content of a topic, technology becomes less of a focus and more of a supportivetool. For example, a unit’s goal might be to cover community history and the keyfigures that helped an area grow and flourish, internet resources or multimedia videowould become supplementary to the unit. On the other hand, a lesson or unit could bemore focused on technology by having students create a project with the content topresent what they have learned about the subject. For example, students present theinformation they have learned about their community history via a PowerPointpresentation 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 moreinstruction on how to put together a clear and interesting presentation, or how to use theequipment, which is why it would be a more technology-based lesson. In this way theTPCK model really helps teachers understand how technology and content work with oneanother to develop engaging and interactive lessons.Training Teachers in Technology The prior knowledge a teacher brings with them into a classroom helps determinewhat topics are taught, and even more importantly, how they are presented. So whatknowledge do teachers need to have regarding technology prior to planning and teaching
  • 18. 11with it? How do we know if the training they are receiving is helping them use thetechnology effectively? As explained earlier, TPCK is the framework that teachers use when developing alesson or unit that integrates technology. Some teachers come to the table with priorknowledge on how to use a piece of technology, like Power Point, in their personal lifeand time. They may know how to manipulate a program and work with it in one context,but have trouble transferring that knowledge into the classroom setting. The cognitiveconstructivist learning theory acknowledges that people must be aware of their ownbeliefs before questioning others or considering changing their own beliefs (Hughes,2005). Teachers must be able to recognize what they believe about their ownpedagogical styles before being willing to change them to incorporate something new,like technology. In this way teachers are often pushed into professional developmentopportunities that are offered by their school districts and claim to give more insight tothe newest technology entering the classroom. Professional development opportunitiesare meant to help teachers develop or refine a skill that they are planning to use, or arecurrently 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 orone-shot time periods that were meant to help teachers understand and work with theequipment or software (Hughes, 2005). Most teachers walked away from thesedevelopment days knowing how to turn something on and off, or open and close aprogram, but that was it. They were still unsure how to incorporate the curriculum orcontent. McKenzie (2001) stressed that teachers need more content-based examples and
  • 19. 12more connections to the curriculum they would use with the technology. With thisnewfound understanding school districts began providing more content-based technologypreparation. “Approaches that emphasize content would target teachers’ subject matterknowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in contrast to when technology is learnedas a separate, unrelated skill,” (Hughes, 2005). These types of workshops not only showteachers how the technology works, but it also gives teachers examples of how they canintegrate 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 tothe teachers that attend them. Because of the workshop’s time constraints, teachersshould be able to walk out of a content-based technology workshop with ideas andlessons that they can begin using as soon as they begin planning for their next lesson. Training teachers with technology shouldn’t stop after the professionaldevelopment workshop. Groff and Mouza (2008) believed that an effective professionaldevelopment model should include training, experimentation, and follow-up support.Most of the workshops that take place in school districts address the training aspect andsome even give teachers time to experiment and play with the new technology, but mostlack the follow-up support aspect. Zech, Gause-Vega, Bray, Secules, and Goldman(2000) presented the content-based collaborative inquiry (CBCI) model that addresses theneed for follow-up and support after a teacher learns a new skill. These small,collaborative inquiry groups have shown to be successful for teacher developmentbecause this approach focuses on supporting teachers in sharing their knowledge andquestions, connects learning to contexts of teaching (site and subject-specific), andpromotes active engagement over time. The CBCI model advocates for teachers at the
  • 20. 13same school site, grade level, or subject to talk about what questions or struggles theymight 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, observingcolleagues teach a lesson or skill that a teacher might need more clarification on can bevery helpful. For example, if a teacher struggles with how to teach simplifying fractionsto fifth grade students, they could talk with colleagues at the same grade level and schoolsite about the strategies they use can be very helpful. A colleague might talk aboutsomething that was done at a recent workshop or a program that they felt helped theirclass grasp the concept. Those suggestions become better illuminated when thestruggling teacher can observe her colleagues implement those strategies by taking a classperiod to observe the actual lesson or see a review of it. Learning new technology and how to implement it into the classroom is verysimilar to the above example with simplifying fractions. Attending a workshop andlearning how to use equipment or software is a good start, but should not be the end ofthe professional development cycle. Training should also include experimentation andexamples of implementation in content and subject-specific curriculum. After theworkshop there should be follow-up support built in within the school or the district as awhole. Teachers should be able to open a dialogue with one another that includesquestions, concerns, and suggestions from one another. There should also beopportunities for teachers to observe one another using the technology or software withina lesson or unit successfully so that they can find ways to implement it effectively intotheir own teaching.
  • 21. 14What is an Interactive Whiteboard? Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are touch-sensitive new generation boardscontrolled by a computer that is connected to a digital projector (Saltan & Arslan, 2009).They were originally developed for offices and businesses, but soon found their way intothe classroom. IWBs usually consist of four components: a computer, a projector, theappropriate software, and a large wall-mounted or free-standing screen. The computercan be controlled by touching the board 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. Charleston, SC: AACE. As described by the British Educational Communications and TechnologyAgency (BECTA), some of the potential applications for the IWB are:
  • 22. 15 • 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, thecreative possibilities are limitless. Teachers are able to create notes on any type of lessonin a digital flipchart, save the chart for future revision or review, or even print or e-mail itto a student who missed the lesson.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 participatingin the lesson, and less likely to be off-task. In a study done by Karen Graham in 2004,teachers found that the pace of the work being completed actually increased due tostudents’ eagerness and motivation to use the IWB. Students knew that they would havemore opportunities to use the technology if they stayed on task and completed theirassignments. Furthermore, students reported that they tried harder to pay attention todirections and instruction the first time it was given so that they were more likely to moveonto a game or other IWB activity. Graham and her teacher’s assistant reported thatstudents did not habituate to the new learning environment, and remained engaged and
  • 23. 16excited to learn throughout the study. This was partially due to the fact that Grahamworked hard to involve her students in the lesson, making it more student-centered andless teacher-centered. Graham described different websites that she found useful inteaching and reviewing numerous math and language arts concepts. The use of student-centered activities and new educational games and videos both played a large role inimproving the classroom environment and engagement level. Due to these changesclassroom management was a minimal part of the teacher’s worries and even studentsnoticed the positive change as can be 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 thespeed of work. Our behavior is always better and every morning I really want to come toschool and do some work!” (Graham, 2004, p. 21)The Challenges of the IWB With great technology, come great pitfalls for teachers to stumble into. Likeevery other piece of equipment that enters the classroom, the IWB isn’t perfect andschools and teachers must work to find solutions to these new problems. One of the firstproblems that many schools come across is deciding how an IWB should be implementedinto the school. Some schools work to put one in every classroom, or department, whileother schools decide to have one per grade level that must be shared amongst multipleclasses. Surveys done by John Cuthell in 2003 found that teachers who had IWBs intheir own classrooms were most enthusiastic about using them, and most likely to usethem regularly (Cuthell, 2004). Teachers who had limited access to an IWB saw littlechange in their teaching style and were not as motivated to plan lessons that involved thenew technology.
  • 24. 17 Another challenge that researchers have found is that most teachers are learninghow to use their IWB “on the job” (Shenton & Pagett, 2007). After an IWB is installedmany schools send their teachers to the installation company, or have a representativevisit the school to teach staff how to use the equipment. However, these tutorials don’tstray far from how to manipulate the basic controls. From an interview Shenton andPagett (2007) had with a teacher regarding the training she had received she said, “we didhave 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 leaves teachers to figure out how toincorporate the IWB into their lessons and daily classroom routines on their own.Learning to use new equipment without guidance or templates can be time consumingand frustrating. Due to the extra time many teachers would need to spend makingPowerPoint presentations, downloading material, and preparing their own materials,some teachers are simply put-off with the technology and revert to using an IWB likethey would any whiteboard. Shenton and Pagett (2007) found that teachers who werewilling to put in the extra time to learn how to use the IWB on their own often looked foroutside guidance by evaluating new software or attending professional developmentcourses and workshops.The Stages of Implementing an IWB Much like any new skill, learning how to use and implement an IWB into aclassroom’s daily lessons and routines doesn’t happen overnight. Gary Beauchamp(2004) observed classrooms and interviewed teachers from a technology-rich primaryschool in order to build a framework of the continuum teachers work through when
  • 25. 18implementing IWBs. The stages that Beauchamp (2004) describes transition frombeginner 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 fromthe “Evolution of Teacher Thought and Practice” (Apple, Inc., 2006) as described byApple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT). Much like Beauchamp’s continuum, ACOT’sevolution begins at an “entry” point and transitions to “innovation.”
  • 26. 19Figure 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 oftraining and description of use becomes more involved and complex. This is very similarto Beauchamp’s (2004) model because as teachers become more confident andknowledgeable regarding their IWB, they also become more innovative and creative withthe types of activities their classes take part in. Stage 1: Black/ Whiteboard Substitute When teachers first begin using an IWB they are learning to transition from atraditional blackboard or whiteboard. The similar writing surface often leads teachers touse the IWB as a black/whiteboard substitute. Teachers tend to write and draw on theboard just as they would on a traditional board, and gradually supplement with wordprocessing files. At this level teachers are still becoming more adept to using the pen as awriting tool, and their finger as a mouse or cursor. Once teachers have mastered basicwriting and drawing techniques, they begin to supplement with word processing files thatthey have created for a lesson or saved from a lesson done prior to the IWB. Lessons at this stage are still predominantly teacher-centered and do not involvestudents coming up to the board to interact or create on their own. “In effect, thewhiteboard is used as a large screen for a projected computer desktop with the teacherperforming normal tasks on the computer to a larger audience” (Beauchamp, 2004, p.332). In order for higher-level thinking and enhanced learning to take place, teachers
  • 27. 20must transition to the next stage of the continuum and include students with theinteraction of the IWB. One danger teachers face in this stage is allowing their IWB tobecome a presentation board rather than a resource for interactive learning. This can beavoided by focusing more on questioning during a lesson and bringing students up to theboard to become familiar with the IWB. At the black / whiteboard substitute stage teachers are able to maintain eyecontact with their students for longer periods of time than compared to a traditional boardbecause they were able to stand to one side of the board to manipulate the text. Thisoften led to more engagement among the class, and less classroom management problemsduring the lesson. Stage 2: Apprentice User The apprentice user “is characterized by the use of a wider range of existingcomputer skills in a teaching context” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 334). This usually meansthat teachers need to be more confident in their computer skills in order to make the jumpfrom a black / whiteboard substitute to an apprentice user. As a teacher’s confidence intheir computer skills and their relation to the IWB grows, their existing computerknowledge can be transferred to be used with the IWB. For example, teachers at theapprentice stage are more likely to save and reopen word processing and native IWBsoftware files. Teachers are also likely to use them later as evidence of a concept taught,or as a reference for future concepts. It is common for teachers to begin usingPowerPoint at this stage as well. The PowerPoint program provides structure and was thefirst program teachers advised others to learn how to use once they became accustomedto the native IWB software.
  • 28. 21 An apprentice user begins to use more graphics throughout their lessons, howeverthey tend to be clip art that ‘decorates’ the page rather than being used a visual model orfor a specific effect. Although this is a positive step in the continuum of IWBdevelopment, the use of ‘decorative’ images can also be misleading for students if theimages are inaccurate or detract from the lesson content. As teachers become moreknowledgeable regarding what is available on the internet and within their schoolnetwork, they often become more selective in their use of graphics. At this stage teachers are rapidly developing their information andcommunications technology (ICT) skills. They must learn to begin transferring theirskills and knowledge to their students via the adaptation to “coach, observer, andfacilitator” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 335). In this way teachers must be willing to give upsome of the control of the IWB and plan more activities and lessons that involve studentinteraction. At this stage teachers can ask students to highlight with the pen or drag anitem from part of the board to another, although the teacher is normally choosing theappropriate tools for the lesson. The teacher works to build verbal ICT skills along with manual skills at this levelas well. Much like a teacher would teach academic vocabulary related to a core subjectsuch as English, social sciences, or science, IWB/ICT vocabulary is needed whenworking with the IWB. Teachers often do this be asking questions like, “where should Iclick?” or “where should I drag this item to?” Students are able to pick up on theIWB/ICT vocabulary very quickly in this manner and often instruct their teacher on whatthey are doing wrong if a problem arises. For example, if a teacher was unable to use themouse or cursor, students may instruct them click off of the pen option. The
  • 29. 22development of the IWB/ICT vocabulary at this stage of the continuum is critical iflessons 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 thanthe teacher does about manipulating the technology. This can intimidate teachers andhurt their self-confidence if they are corrected by a student on how to perform a task orfix a technical problem. Although some teachers may perceive the free in-servicetraining from students as a negative aspect, it could also be seen as a positive one in thatit brings both students and teacher closer 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 theIWB has to change or strengthen their practice and pedagogy. “Teachers begin tocombine their own skills as pedagogues with those of their pupils, and the IWB, toinitiate a classroom practice which produces a new pedagogy” (Beauchamp, 2004, p.338). Initiate users begin to use more programs and software that are selected for theirease of use and appropriateness for the lesson. Teachers in this stage also learn to masteropening more than one page or program at one time, allowing them to maximize andminimize each window as needed. With this new skill teachers often use one program asan introduction to a lesson, and then switch to another to continue the lesson with a moreappropriate format. Teachers found that this approach allowed them to present thecontent in a variety of formats, thus leading to higher levels of engagement amongststudents.
  • 30. 23 With this approach teachers quickly learned that it was important to haveprepared pages or slides to access and revise. The same was true for pre-selected internetsites. Initiate user teachers realize that the internet has an abundant number of resourcesavailable, and have begun to save them in their Favorites menu within the browser. Theyoften use labeled folders to organize the different sites as well. Another part of this stage of development is the further involvement of students inthe use of the IWB. The physical interaction that students have with the IWB actuallygives them more self-confidence and builds their self-esteem because they thoroughlyenjoy using the technology. Teachers are “designing their lessons so that children arenow required to extend their existing skills” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 339). For example,where before a teacher would have students come up to the IWB and hand them thecorrect color pen to use to make a correction, students are now responsible for choosingthe correct color to make a correction or choosing the correct tool to use from the toolmenu. These small steps help students and teacher move towards the next step in theIWB continuum, and ultimately become closer to being a synergy user. Stage 4: Advanced User An advanced user sees the possibilities an IWB has to offer and wants to explorethem. “This moves beyond a fascination with technical capabilities, towards theexcitement of discovering their impact on teaching and learning” (Beauchamp, 2004, p.340). Teachers at this stage are likely to use hypertext and hyperlinks within theirprepared lessons to encourage higher level thinking. As teachers revise their earlierlessons, opportunities to include hypertext and hyperlinks often come up due to thegreater knowledge that they have at this stage. Many teachers in Beauchamp’s (2004)
  • 31. 24study felt that when they looked at lessons they created as an apprentice use there wasroom for improvement, even though they felt they were great lessons at the time theycreated them. Advanced users now have enough knowledge that they see what can beimproved upon, especially when it comes to past lessons. Teachers are also more likely to use sound and video files to demonstrateconcepts that are difficult to replicate in a classroom. These types of files can beembedded into a file or page, appear as a clickable graphic, or as a hyperlinked item of atext. Teachers do not use sound and video files to ‘decorate’ their pages or lessons at thisstage, but instead to illustrate a teaching point. Scanners are also an integral part of the advanced user’s toolbox. Importedscanned images from previous lessons, children’s work, textbook pages, and worksheetsdecreases the ‘heads-down’ effect that textbooks often bring about. Teachers have evenfound that when students have the textbook or worksheet in front them along with on theIWB, students choose to look at the board instead. The focus switches from the deskmaterial, to the IWB by choice. Another tool that Beauchamp (2004) found someteachers using was the ‘Slate’, “a small handheld board allowing remote control of theIWB by teacher or children” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 341). The Slate can be passed fromstudent to student to add content to a digital flip chart, or from group to group to do thesame, or the teacher can edit or revise student work seamlessly. Another perk of the Slateis that it includes the involvement that students would experience if they were to work onthe IWB, without the undue movement that can sometimes slow a lesson down. Toolslike the Slate, sound and video files, and scanned images bring teachers to the last stageof the IWB continuum.
  • 32. 25 Stage 5: Synergistic User A synergistic IWB user combines all of the knowledge from the previous stagesand applies it to a bigger understanding regarding a teacher’s pedagogical practices. “Itis the realization that the IWB can create a new freedom in pedagogy, and is not an end initself, or a means to deliver existing practice in another format, which perhapsencapsulates this final stage in the transition framework” (Beauchamp, 2004, p. 343).Teachers and students have reached a state of equality in their understanding of how touse and manipulate the IWB. This creates a synergistic state which pushes teachers andstudents to create new learning scenarios and lessons to achieve learning objectives.Teachers who have reached this stage in the continuum design lessons that demonstratean intuitive interaction with the IWB and incorporate their students in the process as well.Their lessons are student-centered and use different tools such as internet sites, sound andvideo files, hyperlinks and hypertext, and scanned images to better convey a concept orsubject. The teacher still has control of the lesson and direction it should take, butstudents play an active role in questioning and problem-solving by physically interactingwith the IWB. All five stages of Beauchamp’s (2004) learning stages relate to how most teachersmove along the IWB continuum. Many teachers reach a certain stage and stop movingforward, while few ever reach the final stage of synergistic user. Table 1 outlines eachstage and the different skills both teachers and students tend to master at that level.
  • 33. 26 Operating System Mechanical Skills Program Variables Classroom and File Management (MS) (PV) Management (OS) and Pedagogy (CMP)Black/Whiteboard -Predominant use of -Teacher learning to -Predominant use of -IWB used by teacher Substitute text 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 processing program. -More eye contact files and annotations with class. rarely saved. -Presentation of information over questioning.Apprentice User -Predominant use of -Children use to -Introduction of -Child use of board stored teacher write, highlight, and PowerPoint. planned by teacher. resources. drag content on the -Use of PowerPoint to -Used most commonly -Files used in lessons board. structure lessons or in teaching core are often saved for part of a lesson. subjects. reference or evidence. -Use of imported -Use of ICT -A limited use of existing graphics in ‘vocabulary’ by ‘external’ material. PowerPoint or to teacher and children ‘decorate’ other work. when using the IWB. Initiate User -Ability to maximize -Children select -Use of a wider range -Teacher initiated and and minimize files to tools and input to the of programs. planned opportunities allow multiple IWB. -A wider range of for children to select programs to be open effects, like sound, in tools and input to the and switched between. PowerPoint. IWB -Use of stored -Use of a wider range -Used in a growing sequence of pages (i.e. of graphics including range of subject areas. flip charts from the those from other -Growing use of native IWB program). sources, such as the external resources (i.e. -Beginning to internet, specifically links to Internet sites). organize work into chosen for purpose “Favorite” folders in and not just the internet browser. ‘decoration.’ Advanced User -Imported use of -Children frequently -Use of video clips -Children frequently scanned images (by and confidently use and sound files – and confidently use teacher) from range of the IWB as part of including material the IWB as part of the sources including the lesson, often developed by staff. lesson, often previous lessons, spontaneously and -Use of hyperlinks spontaneously and children’s work, unplanned. and hypertext within unplanned. textbook pages, and -Incorporation of and between programs -Use of revised and worksheets. other input devices and external ‘improved’ versions of (i.e. the IWB resources. previous lessons, with ‘slate’). emphasis on pupil learning rather than technical facility. -Incorporation of other input devices (i.e. the IWB ‘slate’).
  • 34. 27Synergistic User -High level of -High level of -High level of -Teachers demonstrate confidence by pupils confidence by pupils confidence by pupils an intuitive interaction and teacher. and teacher. and 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 rethinktheir professional development choices. Using Lee Shulman’s definition of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Shulman,1987), Punya Mishra and Matthew Koehler added technology to the model, creatingTechnological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) (Mishra & Koehler, 2007). Thismodel stood on the idea that teachers use a strong base in pedagogy to guide their lessonsin content and technology, with a balance needed in each area in order for a lesson to beadequate for student understanding. With the new technology that enters our classrooms, such as IWBs, so do theopportunities for professional development either within our schools or school districts.These workshops have been geared toward aiding teachers in basic operation of softwareand equipment, but lack the real guidance most teachers need in order to incorporate thenew technology into their planning and curriculum (Hughes, 2005; McKenzie, 2001).Many districts are now looking at workshops that offer explanation, time for
  • 35. 28experimentation, and instruction that is grade or subject-specific so that teachers are ableto walk away with ideas they can implement right away. These types of professionaldevelopment opportunities are much more helpful than those geared towards basicoperation, but still lack a follow-up component that supports teachers once they headback into the classroom. Follow-up support and peer observation are both essentialpieces of the professional development cycle. As IWBs entered classrooms, many teachers loved them and hated them at thesame time. The technology behind them was astounding and the IWB engaged studentsthe moment it was turned on, but many teachers were struggling with how to use themeffectively rather than a fancy presentation platform. Researchers have found thatteachers who have an IWB in their classroom are more likely to use them on a regularbasis and more openly incorporate them into their lessons and daily routines (Cuthell,2004). Teachers also found themselves learning how to use the boards “on the job” andspending much of their own time and energy creating material and learning how to usethe software outside of school hours. Some professionals found themselves attendingextra workshops or professional development days to learn how to use the software andequipment more effectively, while others simply used the IWB as they would atraditional 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 continuumBeauchamp described began at a new IWB user, or black / whiteboard substitute, andcontinued to an experienced user, or synergistic user. With each stage in Beauchamp’sframework teachers and students become more knowledgeable of the IWB’s uses, and
  • 36. 29more equal in their ability to think creatively and problem-solve in the context of alesson. Although all teachers do not reach the highest level of IWB implementation,those that do become synergistic users, incorporate student-centered lessons intuitively,and use various tools and formats to engage their students and present conceptsappropriately. There are still many more questions that teachers are still asking themselves whenit comes to the limits of an IWB, but our focus now should be on how to most effectivelyreach students with different subject matters via the IWB. What strategies work best atteaching language arts, or math concepts? How can we apply what we know about moretraditional teaching to the technology-based IWB? An even better question is, howshould schools and school districts go about preparing their teachers for IWBimplementation as a classroom management tool and within their curriculum? Althoughmore research is becoming available in these areas, there is still more that needs to bedone, particularly in the United States. IWB’s are not a fad that will dissipate in a year ortwo. They have proven themselves to be an integral part of any 21st century classroom,therefore learning to interact with them effectively will not only help our students, butalso our teachers.
  • 37. 30 Chapter 3 In the early 21st century new technology enters the classroom in the form ofcomputers, projectors, and software. Some of the technology is familiar to manyeducators like PowerPoint, online computer games, or laptop computers, while others arebrand new like interactive whiteboards. When the new technology is introduced to ateacher, many times their school district offers a one-day training or workshop thatteaches them how to use the new equipment or software, but not how to incorporate itinto their curriculum due to the short period of the workshops. Teachers need moresupport when it comes to incorporating new technology and fully engaging their studentsin order for the technology to be used to its greatest potential. Most teachers beginworking with technology with a strong understanding of the curriculum or content, butare not sure how to use the technology to support their previous lessons. Other teachersmay know how to use the technology outside of the classroom, but need more support inworking it into their curriculum. TPACK (Mishra & Koehler, 2009) helps teachers find abalance between pedagogy, content, and technology knowledge. The author wasmotivated to develop a way to support teachers in learning how to incorporate interactivewhiteboards into their curriculum and classrooms after struggling with her own questions.The development of a handbook is the product of her research into the best practices forpresenting material and engaging students with ready to use lessons and examples for aspecific content area.
  • 38. 31Background of Project Development In the first decade of the 21st century both tech-savvy and novice computer usersfound themselves with access to more resources for themselves and their students thanthey ever had before and were often unsure of how best to use it. In 2010 interactivewhiteboards (IWBs) have been installed in classrooms all over the U.S.. School districtsoften send their teachers to a one-day training on how to use equipment and tools withinthe programs, and although it is helpful, most teachers need more than one day of supportto master the technology. The problem many teachers face when using the technologyusually are those related to curriculum adaptation and management strategies. Questionssuch as: How should a teacher start using the resources the technology has to offer intheir classroom tomorrow? How can an educator maximize the engagement levels oftheir students with an IWB and does the content change the way the material should bepresented? Along with feeling unsure, many educators feel frustrated and overwhelmedwith a high-tech tool they aren’t sure how to use. For these reasons the study focused onwhat other countries and school districts did to help narrow the information gap betweennew IWB users and the capabilities of the technology. One theory that reinforced the importance of balancing pedagogy, content, andtechnology was TPACK (Mishra & Koehler, 2009). TPACK stands for TechnologicalPedagogical Content Knowledge and refers to the knowledge a teacher acquires inregards to balancing good teaching strategies in specific content areas, with supportivetechnology. The two researchers at the forefront of this framework were Mishra andKoehler who displayed their perception of TPACK as a three-way Venn diagram (seeFigure 1). TPACK proposed that the manner in which pedagogical, content, and
  • 39. 32technological knowledge intertwine, stems from a teacher’s solid understanding ofteaching strategies and that of the content the teacher is working with. Technologybecomes a supportive tool that helps students master the concepts and content a teacher isworking toward. With this model, the IWB fits perfectly as a tool that supports teachersin their ability to convey and present material in a variety of ways to their students.When most teachers first begin working with their IWB they have a strong backgroundand understanding of the curriculum they are teaching, but feel that the interactive aspectof the board would appeal to more students and engage them at a different level than atraditional whiteboard. After working with the IWB for a couple of months many teachers realize thatthey want more out of it than a glorified projector. The goal is to see students genuinelyengaged with the material, not just enjoying seeing presentations projected on the board.With this in mind the author was guided towards Schmidt, Harris, and Hofer (2009),education researchers and collaborators of activity types. The activity types Schmidt, etal. researched are activity-based and content-keyed instructional strategies that engagestudents with technology. Schmidt, et al. developed different activity types for eachcontent area, including language arts, math, science, and social studies. In many casesteachers find a program, website, or other type of technology they think will supportstudents in the classroom, and then create a lesson to go with it. The idea behindSchmidt, et al.’s activity types was that teachers will be able to have a content-based goalthey can then look up an appropriate technology-based activity that will support it. Inthis method students will be engaged using the technology that is available to them, butthe curricular goal the teacher was working toward is what led to the technology, not the
  • 40. 33other way around. Schmidt, et al.’s activity types table and lists make it possible forteachers to find websites and technology that support their already existing curricular-based lessons and units, allowing them to really use the technology as a supportive toolrather than something else to conquer. So how do we get teachers comfortable with using their tech equipment andresources that are available? The answer lies in training teachers and empowering themwith the knowledge they need to call those resources their own. Professionaldevelopment opportunities offered by school districts should be more than just one-daytrainings that introduce many new ideas, but not support for ways to incorporate it intothe existing curriculum. Hughes (2005) focused on how most professional developmentdays for educators fall short of what teachers need most – support in implementing newtechnology and ideas. McKenzie (2001) is another believer in giving teachers morecontent-based examples and more connections to the curriculum they would use with thetechnology being introduced at a training day. What do teachers need in terms ofprofessional development support? Both Hughes and McKenzie agreed that workshopsshould blend technology with the content teachers are most likely to use it with. Thisgives teachers the ability to walk away from a workshop or training with something theycan use when they get back into their classroom, and the means for recreating thoseresources with the content in the future. Groff and Mouza (2008) agreed with Hughesand McKenzie’s approach to improving professional development for educators, but theyalso added the experimentation and follow-up support components to the training model.Their argument was that once teachers are trained, they should then have the opportunity
  • 41. 34to experiment with their new-found knowledge or tools, and then have the option forfollow-up support on any pieces they may need to see again or in another light. This links directly to Schmidt, et al.’s (2009) reasoning behind creating activitytypes for content areas. Schmidt, et al. believed that teachers need more tools to supporttheir lesson planning in order to feel like they can incorporate technology into theclassroom and curriculum. Much like Hughes and McKenzie’s theories, Schmidt, et al.believed that professional development opportunities need to offer more and supportwhat teachers are already doing - lesson planning. If teachers were better supported inincorporating the new technologies into their lesson plans and curriculum, professionaldevelopment workshops would be more successful and useful to the teachers they aremeant to serve. All of these suggestions can greatly help the introduction of technologyinto any classroom and improve on the current model most school districts use fortraining their teachers.What Can Be Done to Help New IWB Users Now? The complex questions that are brought up when a new piece of technology isintroduced to a classroom can be endless, and finding a simple solution to all of them isusually nothing short of a miracle. While trying to figure out how to incorporate an IWBinto the classroom and curriculum, it seemed helpful to the author to review otherteacher’s plans for presenting lessons or units using the IWB. With this in mind, itseemed appropriate to create a handbook that would assist teachers who foundthemselves lost in the IWB sea without a life preserver. The process of creating the handbook was like most experiments teachers do eachyear; try an idea and see what happens to engagement levels and comprehension of
  • 42. 35materials. When first using the IWB in her own classroom, the author projectedinformation as one might do with a PowerPoint, which allowed for better visual imagesand an increase in engagement compared to what she had used before. Certainly, this wasfancier than a traditional whiteboard. The author knew that the IWB could do more forher and her students, but she wasn’t sure how. A teacher from a nearby school districtgave a short, informal presentation at the author’s school for anyone interested in seeinghow they used the IWB to teach language arts. The author gained some simple tricks andideas from the presentation, and also found quick ideas and references on the internet.Various sites offered ready-to-use lessons, content-related games, and tips for making thetransition to using the IWB easier, but she still felt that the amount of information wasoverwhelming. She realized the resources she was finding were great, but also difficultto digest and organize coming from so many different content areas. The author wantedto create activities to support her current lessons so that she was extending her originalunits and curriculum, not reinventing new ones. She realized that something was neededas a go-to for quick ideas on how to set-up a lesson that was focusing on summarizing ormain ideas and details, while incorporating the current literature and content the class wasstudying. While talking with a colleague one day the author joked that it would havebeen great if their first training for the IWB would have included a how-to manual,something that could be referenced to for ideas and possible resources to look into.That’s when she realized that wishful thinking may not have helped with her currentstruggles, but may help someone else who is going through a similar experience.
  • 43. 36Components of the Project The IWB handbook was an interpretation of what would have been helpful tohave as a new IWB-user. The problems that arose in the action research phase led to thequestions, “What tools have been the most helpful? What activities help buildcomprehension, but the students really enjoy doing as well? What websites and resourcesare most likely to offer ideas and activities teachers can use right away? How should ateacher use their IWB as a teacher tool, not just a projection screen?” The author knewthat the project should include more than just tips and resources that could be helpful. Itshould also provide examples of lessons and ways to fold pictures, maps, sound clips, andvideos into the curriculum a teacher was already using. For example, if a teacher isworking on a unit or lesson about Dr. Seuss and his style of rhyme or storytelling, theycould build a Notebook (a program used with the SMART Board brand of IWB’s) thatincludes a biography of the author, examples of his stories, matching activities usingvocabulary about poetry or characters from different stories, and anything else the teacherwould usually cover when teaching the lesson or unit. The added technology would alsoallow a teacher to link certain pictures or text to websites that might have Dr. Seussgames, and videos or sound clips of people reading Dr. Seuss’s stories, or his impact onhow children read today. The author’s goal was to help teachers learn how they couldset-up a lesson with their current curriculum, and then add new pieces that enhance theircurrent curriculum.Focusing on Language Arts Knowing that a change needed to be made in how IWB users were integrating thenew technology into their classrooms, the author first decided that a place should be
  • 44. 37created for new users to access or go for more support. Her first thought was to makethis a shared driver or folder for teachers who worked in the same school district to add toand access for ideas or examples of lessons. The author’s hope was that it would becomea space organized by subject area, grade level, and topic allowing teachers within thedistrict to find Power Points, Notebook lessons, videos, interactive games, and otherresources with just a few clicks. Likewise, teachers would be able to add material to theproper content area to share with others. The theory behind the idea was that teacherswould have a place to go for lessons and examples when they first started using theirIWB, making it possible for them to start using their IWB right away. Although thetheory of the shared drive was a great idea, the researcher soon began to realize that itwould be difficult to implement such a drive within the district and compiling resourcesfor all grades would be a very broad and difficult project. The idea that unfolded from the shared drive project was to create a handbook thatwould be grade and content-area specific for new IWB users. A handbook seemed to bea more reasonable and achievable project that could still be handed out to new IWB userswithin the school district. The author realized that one downside of putting together ahandbook versus a shared drive was that it may not reach as many teachers and itwouldn’t be something that could be added to by others. On the upside, creating ahandbook would allow the novice technology-user to have a tangible support tool theycould study or refer to while creating lessons or enhancing units. For teachers that aren’tas comfortable with the new technology they have been immersed in, a handbook wouldgive them instructions in a non-digital format which may seem less daunting.
  • 45. 38 After committing to creating a handbook, it was decided to focus on a specificcontent-area and grade range in order to give better examples and lesson ideas forteachers to use. This idea allowed the handbook to follow more of Schmidt, et al.’s(2009) activity types because the lesson could be content-based rather than generic. Withthe wide range of uses in language arts the researched decided to gear the handbooktowards reading and writing comprehension so that it could be used across multiplegrades. One concern was with regard to providing research and data that showed specificexamples of teaching strategies that increase student achievement when using an IWB.Marzano and Haystead (2010) completed a research project on the effectiveness of IWBs,specifically Promethean ActivClassroom, that evaluated which strategies and variablesmay affect a student’s achievement levels when a teacher is using an IWB to aidinstruction. The study was done in two phases. The first phase focused on whatconditions can effect a student’s achievement levels when a teacher uses the IWB duringinstruction. In the first phase Marzano and his team found that there are specificconditions that affect students’ achievement levels when using the IWB: • A teacher is experienced. • A teacher has used the IWB for an extended period of time. • A teacher uses the IWB extensively in their classroom, but no more than 80% of the time. • A teacher has high confidence in their ability to use the IWB (Marzano & Haystead, 2010, p. viii).
  • 46. 39 The second phase of Marzano and Haystead’s (2010) evaluation focused on whatstrategies teachers employ that prove effective for student achievement. The strategiesthat Marzano and his team found in the second phase that aided in positive studentachievement were: • The teacher organizes content into small, digestible bites that are designed with the students’ background knowledge in mind (i.e., the teacher chunks new content). • The chunks of new content logically lead one to the other (i.e., understanding the first chunk helps students understand the second chunk and so on). • While addressing chunks, the teacher continually determines whether the pace must be slowed or increased to maintain high engagement and understanding (pacing). • The teacher monitors the extent to which students understand the new content (monitoring). • When it is evident students do not understand portions of the content, the teacher reviews the content with the class or re-teaches it. • During each chunk, the teacher asks questions and addresses them in such a way that all students have an opportunity to respond and answers are continually examined as to their correctness and depth of understanding (Marzano & Haystead, 2010, p. x). According to Marzano and Haystead’s (2010) findings, specific conditions andstrategies markedly affect student achievement. These conditions and strategies can be
  • 47. 40directly applied to the handbook and the various lesson plans included within. It wasdecided that it would also be a helpful to include a way for teachers to evaluate their owneffectiveness in the classroom when teaching with the IWB. It was this motivation thataided in the development of an observation form that would rate students engagementlevels and teacher effectiveness based on a visitor’s observation of a lesson that includedthe IWB. Due to the influence Schmidt, et al.’s (2009) activity types table had on theresearcher’s decision to incorporate specific activities for different content-area goals, itseemed imperative to include a copy of the activity-type table in the handbook wherereaders could use it as another resource for lesson ideas. Marzano and Haystead’s (2010)study on the effects of IWBs and students’ engagement level also inspired the author toinclude a way for IWB users to gauge their own effectiveness in the classroom. Theauthor decided to create and include an observation form that can be filled out by a visitorin order for teachers to rate their own level of IWB effectiveness, and find ways toimprove upon it. Altogether, the researcher decided the handbook would include thepedagogy behind content-specific activities for the IWB, examples of lessons for readingcomprehension, grammar, and writing, an observation form, and other suggestedresources for IWB help. This would give readers an understanding of the backgroundbehind the IWB lesson plans, along with ways to use the IWB immediately or withincurrent curriculum, and suggestions on ways to improve their effectiveness.Summary The creation of a handbook allowed the author to put together different resources,strategies, and lesson plans in order to better assist a new IWB user. Previous research
  • 48. 41showed that in order to be successful teachers must utilize their content, pedagogical, andtechnology knowledge, which is also known as TPACK (Mishra & Koehler, 2009).Schmidt, et al.’s (2009) activity types aided teachers who wish to use more technology tosupport their current curriculum and lessons. Her tables allowed teachers to decide theircontent area before choosing a piece of technology to help engage students, rather thanfirst finding content that would work well with a particular piece of technology as is doneby many teachers. Marzano and Haystead (2010) provided research that shows a positivecorrelation between specific conditions and strategies that support positive studentachievement when teaching with an IWB. Research showed that teacher experience withthe IWB, the amount of time spent using the IWB during class times, and teacherconfidence were all conditions that had a positive correlation with using an IWB to aidteaching and student achievement. Marzano and his team’s research also showed thatstrategies such as chunking, scaffolding, pacing, and monitoring also had a positivecorrelation with using an IWB and student achievement. By giving new IWB users a guide to what will help them engage their studentsand use their IWB to its fullest potential, the author believes that new users will feel morecomfortable and confident integrating the technology into their curriculum and lessons.The author’s decision to focus the handbook on language arts instruction will make itmore accessible to a wider range of teachers and grade levels due to the fact that languagearts instruction ranges from early elementary to high school. Empowering teachers withinformation regarding technology that is accessible in turn will empower our studentsengage them at new levels and opening the door to new resources and possibilities.
  • 49. 42 Chapter 4: Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) have been infused into classrooms all over theU.S.. The technology that comes with using a more engaging and interactive tool alsoneeds proper training and support in order for teachers to implement it correctly.Teachers needed a way to take their traditional planning and teaching styles and updatethem with the support of technological tools. Specific strategies that increase studentachievement and the effectiveness of the IWB must also be taught and supported in orderfor teachers to use the technology to its fullest potential. The goal of this project was tosupport novice IWB users with strategies that would increase their effectiveness whileteaching with an IWB.Project Outcomes The objectives for this project included the following goals. To provide guidanceand support for teachers to: • combine their content knowledge and teaching pedagogy with the new technology and opportunities that the IWB offers • identify common methods that teachers use to teach language arts and how to adapt those activities to include the IWB as a transitional step towards a more effective and engaging teaching style • examine research-based instructional methods regarding effective conditions and strategies that increase student achievement while teaching with the IWB The goal for this project was to develop a handbook that new IWB users couldrefer to in order to develop a language arts lesson or unit while incorporating technology.
  • 50. 43This meant helping teachers combine their content knowledge and teaching pedagogywith the new technology that the IWB offers. All teachers have a knowledge base inpedagogy (their theories and beliefs in what good teaching is and what strategies are mosteffective) and content (the material they are teaching). As teachers plan a lesson or unitthey instinctively combine their pedagogical and content knowledge in order to develop asuccessful and engaging lesson. The handbook development looked to help teachers addanother component to their knowledge base: technology in the form of the IWB. Thehandbook offers suggestions and strategies that support a teacher’s current lessons andcurriculum using the IWB. Sometimes this took the form of an online game orpresentation using the SMART Board Notebook application with linked audio or videoclips. The goal was to show teachers how the SMART Board can be used to supplementand support their current content material and lessons, not replace it. It was important to research what methods teachers usually use to teach languagearts and what strategies were most useful when building in technology such as the IWB.Many of the strategies teachers use were found using Schmidt, Harris, and Hofer’s (2010)activity type tables. These tables offered a wide range of strategies in pre-reading, duringreading, post-reading, grammar, and writing that most teachers use without realizing it.Some of these strategies were adapted for the handbook. Schmidt, et al.’s activity typetables were included as a reference for more ideas and support. The handbook usedinformation and strategies from the tables and other resources to show teachers how touse their current teaching methods and incorporate the technology of the IWB. Teachers develop strategies and methods of teaching that increase studentunderstanding and engagement levels whenever possible. These strategies, such as
  • 51. 44scaffolding and monitoring, are embraced by teachers and researchers alike due to theirpositive results. Many of these same methods and good teaching practices can be appliedto lessons involving the IWB as well. A goal of the handbook was to present thesestrategies and methods to teachers as a way to effectively incorporate their IWB into theircurrent lessons and curriculum. Specific strategies were included such as chunking,scaffolding, pacing, and monitoring as methods of successful presentation and teachingwhile using the IWB. These methods are not new or foreign to most teachers, whichmakes them more likely to be embraced by a new tech user who can build them into theirIWB lessons.Proposed Audience, Procedures, and Implementation Timeline: The IWB handbook’s audience is primarily kindergarten through fifth gradeteachers, but can include middle and high school teachers as well. It was developed foruse by elementary level teachers due to the broad range of language arts skills that areintroduced and taught at those levels; however the theories of engagement and strategiesintroduced can be used to work with many different grade levels. The handbook will be introduced to colleagues and administration in order to givethe new IWB users at the target site a chance to work with the lessons and strategieswhile the author’s still available for extra support if necessary. The handbook will becopied and handed out to teachers who are receiving, or have recently received, an IWB.It is anticipated that adjustments to the handbook will be made as it is field-tested and anadditional website with greater resources to the handbook will be constructed aftercolleagues have had a chance to work with the lessons and test the engagement strategies.It is hoped that a workshop introducing the hand book, its purpose, and the resources can
  • 52. 45be offered to give new IWB users a place to begin their lesson development and thesupport they may need to get incorporate the new technology into their classroom. Thegoal is to make the handbook available to teachers within her school district so thatteachers have more support and students are more engaged and successful with theimplementation of IWB’s in the classroom.Evaluation of the Project: The goal of this project was to develop a handbook that would support teachers intheir understanding and development of technology skills regarding the IWB. Theproject was an overall success in that a handbook was created that offered backgroundinformation, resources, lesson plans and ideas, and an observation form to evaluate ateacher’s effectiveness. The activity type tables were an appropriate supplement to theSMART Board lessons and tips due to their wide range and proven effectiveness acrossgrade levels. The project was challenging to develop in that it required variousreferences and sources in order to create the proper lesson plan and observation format.The author felt that incorporating information regarding TPACK (Mishra & Koehler,2009) and Marzano and Haystead’s (2010) research would be helpful for teachers toevaluate their use and integration of IWB technology. The decision to gear the handbooksolely in the direction of language arts made it easier to focus on specific strategies andteaching methods that work for that content area. It would have been challenging to giveenough information and breadth in the handbook if the author hadn’t focused in on onecontent area. The handbook will be a nice addition to the implementation of SMARTBoards in the author’s school district; acting as a support reference tool for novice IWBusers.
  • 53. 46Conclusion Creating this master’s project was a long and often tedious task. The mostdifficult part derived from the ever-changing goal that evolved with the addition of moreinformation and knowledge regarding the topic. The need for more support regarding theimplementation of the IWB was an obvious one for the author, but understanding whatneeded to be done in order to remedy the problem faired to be more complex. Researchfocused on studies that were dedicated to TPACK, teacher training and technology, andmixing technology with current content. These studies proved to be enlightening andmotivating in the creation of the IWB handbook, giving the author a good look at whatmany have found to be helpful and effective methods for IWB use. In the end it was amixture of these studies and findings that helped develop the handbook and theinformation included in it. The outcome of the project was very close to what the authorhad first envisioned in the way it helps novice IWB users find a foothold to begin theirtechnology knowledge base. Suggestions for future IWB support should start at the teacher training level.Research has shown that teachers are most likely to be successful implementing andincluding new technology into their lessons when given consistent support and follow-uptraining opportunities. It would be wise for school districts to plan these workshops inconjunction with offering a handbook for immediate reference and support, rather thanone or the other. Teachers also need more opportunities to see how colleagues are usingthe technology to support the curriculum and as a management tool. If teachers weregiven time to observe more experienced IWB users and shown ways to incorporate theircurrent methods and strategies into lessons that involved the IWB, their lessons would be
  • 54. 47more engaging and effective. This project stemmed from the need for more supportregarding IWB use in the classroom. A handbook will not help with all aspects of thisproblem, but it is a start in the right direction. Teachers need supportive tools andreferences in order to feel comfortable with the growing infusion of technology into theclassroom. Technology will forever be a mainstay in the average classroom. It’s whatthe teacher does with it that makes the difference.
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  • 60. 53 Appendix: Field ProjectInteracting With Interactive Whiteboards