Interactive whiteboards are both exciting and intimidating. Using interactive whiteboards in classrooms is becoming a regular practice now. The creative side of the interactive whiteboards fantasizes users (instructors/presenters) and encourages them to explore new possibilities with the content resources, available curriculum, and instruction design. Even as, possible mishandling of interactive whiteboards, open control and monitoring, and technology mastering, worries many instructors. Interactive Whiteboard (aka IWB) provide instructors with a complete platform to explore, teach, share, deliver, and instruct students through interactive pedagogical instructions and flow of information in the form of compiled videos, PowerPoint Presentations, images, documents, and Web resources, etc. However, uncertainty about the use and best practices of interactive whiteboards limits them from exploring and utilizing the right potential of the interactive boards.
The popular interactive whiteboard brands such as eBeam, Mimio, and Polyvision provide a user manual to help you start using the electronic whiteboard. But often you have to go beyond these supplied instructions to realize the actual power of the whiteboard. Here we have compiled a basic list of Dos and Don’ts of using Interactive white boards in a classroom:
Dos of Interactive Whiteboards
Below read some best practices used worldwide to optimize the usage of whiteboards during lectures and trainings:
- Do seek expert help in installation of Interactive whiteboards. It is one of the top best practices, let experts (manufacturer support team/in-house technical support team) install, fix, and mount the interactive whiteboard and supporting equipment such as multimedia projector, document camera, etc.
- Do allow free flow of information. Let students participate in the discussion. Encourage them to share their ideas on-screen and appreciate their interactive explanations, drawings, and notes, etc. Do not stop students from touching the whiteboard.
- Do use multimedia Projector. It is recommended to use multimedia projectors with the interactive whiteboard to allow multimedia content sharing and collaboration in the classroom. Multimedia projectors allow you to display and interact with desktop content, resources, and software applications directly through the board.
- Do save whatever you teach. Whether you are a mathematics teacher or a language instructor, save whatever you teach for future reference, notes distribution, or online publishing. Recordings also allow you to discourage manual note taking in the classroom that causes attention deficit and tiredness.
- Do explore interactive whiteboard and share your discoveries with Peers. It is perfectly right to experiment different approaches with interactive whiteboards. Explore, experiment, and identify all the time you teach with an interactive resource. Also, share your discoveries with your colleagues or peers and learn from their experience too. That will make the technology mastery faster.
Don’ts of Interactive Whiteboards
Below are some practices to avoid when using interactive whiteboards.
- Don’t be afraid of using interactive whiteboards. Don’t wait for training to start using or exploring interactive whiteboard. Use them as you want. Find new ways to make learning more effective and exciting for students through the whiteboard.
- Don’t instruct with your back to the students. Avoid settings where you are facing the interactive board screen and have your back to the students. Speak to students face to face, instead of talking to the board. Use your PC as a teleprompter and collaborate using the PC screen instead.
- Don’t make a shadow on the whiteboard screen. Use short throw projectors to ensure that you are not making a shadow on the interactive whiteboard screen with your body. Adjust your projector to the classroom size and maximize visibility and clarity for the students.
- Don’t use Fingers to point or highlight a part on the whiteboard. Make use of electronic cursor to emphasize and highlight a part on the whiteboard screen.
- Don’t turn off lights when teaching. To increase visibility of content, some instructors turn off the lights during instruction delivery via a projector. This is not advisable. It doesn’t increase engagement but rather puts students into a sleepy environment. Keep lights on so that you can see your students and observe their behavior.