One of the great advantages to having an interactive whiteboard is that it’s a very effective tool for overcoming student boredom. Gone are the days of teacher-centered, conventional, chalk and blackboard teaching. Today’s tech-savvy students want a more modern, collaborative learning environment, and the interactive whiteboard delivers.
The interactive whiteboard gives teachers the tools they need to help their students be successful with their learning. It allows them to prepare lessons that meet the needs of all of the different learning styles students possess. Visual learners benefit from watching topical videos and animations of abstract or complex concepts. Auditory learners can access recordings of lessons to review content. Kinesthetic learners interact with the content by playing with virtual manipulatives. Teachers can adjust their presentations in any number of ways to differentiate instruction, and the students enjoy the ability to access the learning at their level and according to their own preferences and abilities. They are therefore more engaged in the learning, and are also more likely to spend time on tasks that they would have otherwise avoided. It never ceases to amaze me, for example, how interested my students suddenly became in editing their writing (a task they normally detest) when I allowed them to work collaboratively at the interactive whiteboard. They could easily make changes with the touch of a finger instead of having to write everything out, and they even continued to work at their seats when their turn at the board was finished!
The learning environment wouldn’t be very interesting to students or useful to teachers if the software were too difficult to learn and use. Teachers don’t have to worry about this, because the programs are user-friendly and simple to put into practice in the classroom. Students of today easily figure out how to manipulate objects and play games in an on-screen environment because they’re exposed to so much technology in their lives outside the classroom.
They’re Just Fun!
My students didn’t realize that their learning is being stimulated by carefully planned, multi-sensory and differentiated instruction designed on expensive, high-tech equipment. They just knew that it’s fun to “play” at the interactive whiteboard in school. Whenever I introduced new tools, inserted a new video or song, or showed my students a new way of manipulating objects, they were just as excited as when they get to play a new game on their phone or i-Pad.
How do you combat student boredom with your interactive whiteboard?