Interactive White Board: How to Use it
In this modern age of computer and technology in education, institutes and educational centers can advance educationally by investing in interactive whiteboards. An interactive white board provides a better alternative for smooth classroom learning compared to regular blackboards and whiteboard marker.
When hooked up to a computer, an interactive whiteboard’s screen becomes a “live” computer desktop, which can be tapped to pull down menus, highlight, and move or open files.
While using it, relevant sections marks or circles can be made on projected image, geometric figures can be drawn, and underlined on the board. These can then be saved to the screen — complete with annotations — which can then be e-mailed, made available on a shared server, or printed out.
What is an Interactive White Board?
An interactive Whiteboard is a dry-erase whiteboard writing surface that can capture writing electronically. Interactive whiteboards require a computer. Some interactive whiteboards also allow interaction with a projected computer image.
Considering our article on “technologies in the classroom: past, present and future“, most interactive whiteboards are connected to computers using USB cables. But some recent models communicate wirelessly using Bluetooth technology. Making it a seamlessly fun tool for lively classroom interactions.
Many interactive whiteboards need LCD projectors in order to project a computer image onto the screen, but new models of these boards come with an embedded projector behind the screen. While the latter is more expensive, but they are more convenient to use, and reduce the mess of having wires spread around.
How to use an Interactive Whiteboard in a Classroom
Wondering how to use an interactive whiteboard in a classroom in Nigeria? Consider these ideas.
Presentations and Projects
Interactive whiteboards can be a very effective tool for students when making presentations and when carrying out projects. During classroom activities students can present multimedia projects with the interactive whiteboard, with an additional advantage of controlling the entire presentation without touching a computer keyboard.
Web Streaming and Video
Interactive whiteboards can enable educators to show streamed or downloaded educational video clips while teaching using programs like Windows Media Player and QuickTime. Videos saved in the multimedia presentation programs are easily shown.
The whiteboard is so interactive that it is possible to pause, circle, annotate, and highlight on the board while teaching. A DVD or VHS player can be connected to the projector too. Using this white board is a way of engaging passive learners in classroom discussion.
Printing and Saving Notes
Interactive whiteboards also provide the opportunity to print or save anything written on it. With this board educators can put share notes to students in a shared server for students to download or have the notes posted on a Web page or blog. These are printed out from the board and distributed. Thereby allowing students to focus on the classroom lessons instead of simply copying from the board.
Encouraging Critical Thinking
The interactive whiteboards does not only encourage classroom participation, it enables brainstorming sessions in the class. Imagine the speed at which the board can provide maps or statistics enable for mind simulating discussions. The ideas of students is displayed on the board. With the outline view of the board the class can brainstorm on a subject in organized manner.
For Students with Special Needs
Students with special needs can benefit from the uses of interactive whiteboards in their learning process. The large fonts and bright colors that come with the boards can make lessons easily visible, even to visually impaired students. Students who respond well to kinesthetic learning can benefit from touching the board.
Frankly, interactive whiteboards is the next best thing to hit education in Nigeria in this age of technology. It makes learning seamlessly easy, more organized and more engaging for students.
It would be encouraging to have more developing countries adopting this modern technology into their education system.
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