There has been a drastic increase in the usage of interactive whiteboards in schools, universities, training rooms and institutions around the globe. It has been proved to be useful for both teaching and learning in interesting ways. It stimulates the enthusiasm of educators and students for lessons, makes interaction in classes efficient, increases the trainer’s overall productivity and improves knowledge retention.
Interactive whiteboards are highly versatile tools which can be used to teach anyone of any age. Teachers who use them regularly to teach their students have reported a great deal of success when it comes to presenting engaging lessons and they have been shown to provide significant benefits to all age groups.
The interactive whiteboard supports most multimedia materials, such as images, texts, audio and video documents from various input devices, including desktops, laptops, DVD players, USB drives. With this flexibility of the interactive whiteboard, teachers are not restricted to paper documents, cards and chalk in traditional education settings, however, it can create more interesting teaching materials to suit different needs from the students.
One of the foremost advantages of interactive whiteboards is that all work can be saved and stored with ease as everything is done through a computer. Many models also offer cloud backup and sync of the data. They are also excellent for demonstrations or lectures through the use of PowerPoint and can be used to deliver presentations with ease.
The interactive whiteboard in the classroom is essentially like a traditional whiteboard digitally with touch function for showcasing lessons, however, its exceptionally large size makes it much more useful than previous boards which are impossible to reach every student in a classroom. The display surface is large enough for everyone. It greatly improves the trainer’s efficiency and teaching convenience.
The benefit of using interactive whiteboards for demonstrations is that if a teacher wants to show the class how to use a particular website or specific software then he can simply get the website or software up onscreen and go through it bit by bit on the whiteboard. This, in turn, enables the students to start using the software themselves without requiring the teacher to go round and individually show each student how to operate the software again and again, which saves teachers’ great time.
Key advantages of Interactive Whiteboards
1. Augmented Learning
While some students are auditory learners, absorbing information efficiently through the spoken word, others are visual learners. Interactive whiteboards give people the opportunity to absorb information in multiple formats. This helps increase retention and synthesis of information.
2. Improved Participation
Interactive whiteboard images can be saved and printed, so students do not have to take notes during the discussion. This allows them to participate in the learning or collaborative session at a more focused, engaged level.
3. Boosts Collaboration
By integrating an interactive whiteboard into your learning or office environment, you can encourage participants to collaborate in a shared work area. This allows students to become part of the process, rather than simply recipients of prepared information.
The whiteboard also makes the interaction between educators and students easier with more diverse and effective teaching documents. The educators can stress the particular parts by underlining, circling and annotating with digital ink of different colours to improve students understanding of the lessons. Erasing or saving the remarks and annotations is also possible, hence, the educators can preserve their documents in the way they need.
Additionally, interactive whiteboards also promote group work. The teacher puts a stimulus up onto the interactive whiteboard and adds the class into groups first, then ask the group to read or look at the stimulus and add their contribution to the discussion directly onto the whiteboard.
(Image courtesy: www.samsung.com)