For those of you who are new to the world of interactive whiteboard technology, and feel intimidated by the task of using an interactive white board (IWB) in your classroom, I have listed a few tips to get you started.
- Connect with other teachers in your school who are using the board. Share resources specific to your province or district curriculum through Dropbox.
- Find a mentor who is willing to share ideas and resources with you, and who is willing to answer your questions on a fairly regular basis.Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
- Get to know the software used to operate your IWB, familiarizing yourself with the tools provided. Become accustomed to writing on the board, and using the resources built into the software which operates your board.
- Keep the user’s guide or manual nearby. As you discover new tools that worked well for you, make a note of them. Keep a journal or log near the board and list activities that were successful.
- PLAY, PLAY, PLAY!! Let your students play. You would be surprised how much your students can discover and teach you.
- Students should be at the board at least as often as if not more often than the teacher during instructional time – avoid using the board as a glorified chalkboard. Use the board as it should be used – as an interactive tool. If students are not at the board, you might as well use a data projector for your lessons.
- Make sure students can reach all the tools at the board. Tools can be positioned at the bottom of the board for younger students. Have a step-stool available in the classroom for students to stand on if they cannot reach every angle of the board.
- Take overhead pages you once used with a projector or textbook pages and scan them for use at the IWB. You can make older lessons interactive this way. Simply use the pen tool to colour over words. Create a cloze activity by covering words you want students to predict and complete. They can write over them, or you can reveal the answer by erasing the writing on top using the eraser tool.You can also insert shapes over the words you wish to reveal later after your lesson or discussion.
- Immediately change your handwritten notes into text with a tool that is known as handwriting recognition – save your discussion notes for next time when you want to review them with students.
- Keep it simple! If there is too much text or too many images on one page, your presentation is no longer legible, and can overwhelm your students.
- Attach web sites, links, and videos easily by linking to an object or text on the page. You will never forget that great web site you stumbled across on the internet if you attach it to a flipchart you create for use at the board.
- Get the SMART or Promethean (ActivInspire) software at home for free in order to prepare presentations for use the next day (or even the next month) – prepare week long or month long units and follow your plan, saving along the way for review later.
- Take advantage of online training videos, available at Promethean Planet or SMART Exchange. You can also connect with other teachers there.
- Use any web-based educational game interactively in order to engage students after a brief lesson or to review concepts you have covered. In Promethean, you are able to open a flipchart over the website of your choice, and using a feature called desktop annotation, you can use the pen tool for working out problems while interacting online.
More white board resources…
Photo by Betchaboy