Smartboard or Interactive White Boards are big screen-like touch-sensitive tech that works with an external device like a computer. SMART Technologies manufactured it in 1991. Initially used by businesses to record training and to show it to recruits, educationists identified its potential to be converted into a powerful tool of imparting knowledge.
They saw it as a medium of stirring collective thought processes, generate positive results in students’ learning, and organising lesson plans. Around the world, technology is at the forefront of education in developed countries like the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The significance of IWB in learning
An interactive whiteboard allows users to interact with the content displayed in a myriad of ways through its amazing features. Learning activities are made more fun and fascinating in a multi-person environment where a child may feel alienated.
IWBs are good for making a child feel involved. Other than this, IWB can perform various functions. For more info, you may refer to the following: –
- It can annotate the content, whether it is text or an image
- Uses stylus or fingers to access the board instead of traditional marker
- Saves the entire session for further revisions or reviewing
- It is accessed in a remote manner avoiding any wiring problem
- Lesson activities can be created with pre-defined templates, images, and multimedia
- Editing video clips to add notes and explanation
- Presentation tools can be used to make learning more inclusive
- Showcasing multimedia, 3D graphics, and presentations
A marvel for invoking student synergy
Learning is a social activity. Studies have revealed that we understand better if we are to teach someone else than studying for personal exams. Therefore, contemporary education theories are rooted in keeping in mind the social learner angle.
As teaching is considered a two-way process, student engagement is a key to acquiring knowledge. To understand better social learning can be explained as below:-
The constructive approach allows the learner to choose and transform knowledge, create a theory for making decisions and find out or construct the true meaning.
In-class teaching methodology aims to bring together students and help to focus their attention by providing instructions and encouraging group interaction.
Self-sufficient learners prefer active participation and engagement with the class through the following activities on a personal level or in a group: –
These learning theories emphasise that student participation is integral to teaching and IWB encourages student participation positively. For example, educators have observed that students could concentrate more and reflect on the class while they were given a catchy surface for everyone to see and use.
IWB is a major motivator
It is easy to identify the level of motivation among students. If they are participating and paying attention in the classroom, they are fairly motivated. Some students are motivated inherently to reflect on the outer world and what is being taught. They are inquisitive and enjoy learning.
Intrinsically motivated students like to volunteer to showcase their knowledge in front of their peers and get a sense of accomplishment through it.
Extrinsically motivated students are delighted to learn in a fun way. They are in awe of the technology and excited to use that for the sake of sheer curiosity.
Smartboards: Boon for children with special needs
Educators have been striving to improvise the IWB to make it useful for imparting knowledge to special children. An interactive whiteboard can be modified to become relevant for visually impaired, hearing impaired, autistic, children with dyslexia, and children with diverse needs in learning.
Students learning on visual mode benefit from the notes displayed on the whiteboard. They can learn effectively by diagrams, 3D videos, manipulating objects, annotating documents, etc., it is easy to access, and children can explore creativity through its various features. Everything can be explained through sign language. The content to be used should be made as per the needs, though.
Kinesthetic or tactile learning is an approach where children perceive what is being taught through physical activities rather than traditional lectures etc. Students who find it hard to identify themselves in traditional classrooms can be engaged with movement, touching the screen, or imitating the display on the board.
Students with limited visual senses can make out the text on the screen if it has a big font. The IWB has a large screen that serves the purpose just right. They can find themselves comfortable with computer-based education with IWB. A traditional projector screen lets them see but doesn’t give them any scope to interact, which is abundant in IWB teaching.
With students, IWB help teachers in streamlining the work and trace development of the curriculum. With basic things taken care of, educators can think of developing new ways of making the class more intriguing for students.