IWBs. The what, why and how.

I am the first to admit that yes I have not used an Interactive White board (IWB).  I work at a school where one IWB exists out of 22 classrooms and yes, there are schools where this exists.  My next professional experience is at a school where this occurs also.  To increase my knowledge about IWBs I explored the internet.  I found a wealth of information that I could use on future pracs as I will not have an interactive board this time around.

So what is an IWB.  Basically it is a presentation device or tool that interacts between the computer and the user by projecting the computer images onto a board where they can be seen and manipulated.  There seems to be many different varieties of IWB’s available requiring carefully consideration by the schools when purchasing. More details about this can be found here

Why use an IWB?  Dr. Mary Ann Bell offers 13 great reasons that she believes answers this question and I have summarised them below.

  1. It is great for demonstrations. Students can present their assessment pieces from the board allowing them to point out important features
  2. It is a colourful tool.  Students respond better to displays in colour
  3. The board can accommodate different learning styles such as tactile learners (touching and manipulating), audio and visual
  4. It allows students of all ages to respond favourably
  5. Is can be used for distance learning
  6. One-computer classrooms can maximize the use of limited computer access by allowing for group collaboration
  7. The creative use is limited only by the imaginations of teachers and students.  There is an extensive range of sfotware, and links available
  8. The boards are clean and attractive.  No need to clean up chalk dust.
  9. Students with motor-skills difficulties may find the board easier to use because of its large format.  No more mouse clicking. This can be replaced by tapping on the board
  10. It is interactive. It promotes students interacting both at the computer or the board.  Mrs Twidale blogs about the ability of the ‘Promethean’ Boards multiple user mode which allows up to four students at interact at the same time.
  11. It can interface well with other peripherals including digital cameras, videos scanned images, or books.  It allows to teacher to walk around the room talking while the children are focussing on the board.
  12. It is great for printing off lessons, mindmaps or similar so that discussed work can be printed and distributed
  13. Kids love them. They enjoy going to the board and interacting.

What are the benefits and disadvantages?  TechLearn provides some interesting information about the disadvantages

How can they be used? There are many different sites listing multiple ways IWBs can be used.  Here are a few examples of how they can be used.

  • “Present, learn about and evaluate information and concepts through multi-media resources (text, images, sound files, video clips). Using the interactive whiteboard teachers can easily save multi-media resources to better help students visualize and understand key lesson concepts”. Visit this site for more information.
    The following suggestions came from here.
  • Digital storytelling..
  • Using online map and satellite imagery to teach geography.
  • Demonstrating moviemaking techniques.
  • Viewing and analyzing competitive sports and physical education activities.
  • Teaching students how to conduct research on the Internet.
  • Working collaboratively on writing and editing exercises, math lessons, and science experiments.
  • Instructing the class on the use of a software program, keyboarding techniques, and other computer skills.

Yes I am convinced and hopefully I get a chance to use one soon.  Below are a few assorted IWB resources that you may wish to check out.  There are so many available so I listed just a few.


Enjoy exploring.


Interactive Whiteboard [Image]. (2007). Retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Interactive_whiteboard_at_CeBIT_2007.jpg