Interactive whiteboard technology can enrich the classroom environment, but learning how to use it effectively might be a little overwhelming. There are a few things I wish I’d known before I started using my interactive whiteboard. I’ll share with you what I learned about setting up the whiteboard in my classroom, maximizing the visibility and accessibility of my presentations, and saving my files so that my students and I could easily access them later.
1. Arrange Your Space to Make the Best Use of Your Interactive Whiteboard
Give yourself plenty of room both in front of and on either side of your whiteboard so you can access your board without standing in the projector’s beam. Consider your students’ height, and be sure to place the whiteboard where they can easily reach it. Install wall-mounted speakers for sound that will carry across the classroom better than with your projector’s internal speakers. Finally, keep a wireless keyboard near the whiteboard so you can add text without having to walk back and forth to your computer.
2. Give Careful Thought to the Visual Appearance of Your Presentations
Ensure that your students will be able to easily view and interact with your presentations. Choose a font that’s easy to read, such as Arial or Comic Sans and confirm that it’s large enough to be seen from the back of the classroom. Instead of white, choose a pale, pastel background color for improved legibility. Or, if you experience sun glare in your classroom, experiment with using a black background with white or yellow text. Put only one or two paragraphs on a page so you don’t have to scroll your documents up and down, and leave plenty of space for annotations and comments. Place the text on the lower two-thirds of the page so students can easily reach it when adding notes. Lastly, maximize the visibility of your pages by using full-screen capabilities in your applications.
3. Keep Your Digital Files Well Organized
Teach your students to create a protocol for naming and organizing your digital files. Giving their files an appropriate name and organizing them on the network drive will allow them to easily find documents later.
I continue to practice using my interactive whiteboard and exploring and experimenting with its functions. What tips and tricks have you learned for using this technology to its fullest potential?