I have carried out lots of research and have also written lots of articles on an interactive whiteboard or display board for different levels of education. Today in this publication, we will focus on the interactive whiteboard for tertiary institutions.
What then is an interactive whiteboard? According to the BBC, an interactive whiteboard is an instructional tool that allows computer images to be displayed on a board using a digital projector. The instructor can then manipulate the elements on the board by using his finger as a mouse, directly on the screen. Items can be dragged, clicked, and copied, and the lecturer can handwrite notes, which can be transformed into text and saved.
The above definition is not different from what Wikipedia has to say about interactive whiteboards and their usage. An interactive whiteboard (IWB) is a large interactive display in the form factor of a whiteboard. It can either be a standalone touchscreen computer used independently to perform tasks and operations or a connectable apparatus used as a touchpad to control computers from a projector.
They are used in a variety of settings, including classrooms at all levels of education, corporate boardrooms and work groups, training rooms for professional sports coaching, broadcasting studios, and others.
The first interactive whiteboards were designed and manufactured for use in the office. Around 1990, PARC developed them. This board was used in small group meetings and roundtables.
They are a powerful tool in the classroom, adding interactivity and collaboration, allowing the integration of media content into the lecture, and supporting collaborative learning. When used innovatively, they create a wide range of learning opportunities. However, in many environments, they are not being used to their full potential, and in many cases, they are acting as glorified blackboards.
The education system has experienced tremendous changes in the past few years as the traditional heavy textbooks are being replaced by convenient eBooks while notebooks are replaced by devices such as interactive whiteboards, tablets, and iPads.
Today, there are many uses for an interactive whiteboard in tertiary institutions. Some of the main benefits of an interactive whiteboard in teaching are outlined below:
Lecturers can use interactive whiteboards in the classroom to enhance the content of their presentations. This can easily be achieved by creating an array of material for a lesson, e.g., a picture from the internet, text derived from a Microsoft Word file, graphs from spreadsheets, and teacher and student annotations on the objects. Interactive whiteboards project or display accurate pictures and lessons, and students are far better engaged than chalkboards or even the conventional projector-screen and whiteboard combination.
Lessons can be recorded
One of the advantages of using interactive whiteboards in the educational system is the ability to record every lesson. Every lesson can be recorded, played back, or even printed and shared among students. Lecturers can use this feature to record their notes and lesson activities and be able to build for themselves over time a resource for future purposes. Several interactive whiteboard software programs comprise screen recording tools that lecturers can use to capture and provide previous lessons to students whenever necessary.
Availability of Resources
Because there are numerous flash files available online that teachers and lecturers can use to deliver effective lessons, using interactive whiteboards in the classroom is strongly encouraged. The use of such resources is beneficial in education as it saves both effort and time while enhancing learning outcomes.
The use of interactive whiteboards in teaching allows the computer to become some sort of shared resource. This eliminates the crowding or jostling of students around a small screen in an attempt to observe a demonstration by a teacher. This means that the interactive whiteboard can enable students to easily access material from the comfort of their seats. And moreover, this information can be shared instantly as the lesson is going on; the sharing of the information can be either in soft copy or in hard copy, whichever the students prefer.
The use of interactive whiteboards in the classroom allows students to actively engage with teaching material, receive instant feedback on current subjects, and manipulate learning objects. It enables the lecturer to sit at the computer with a student on the whiteboard and the class to contribute ideas and offer suggestions. It basically promotes interactive teaching.
Styles of Learning
Among the top uses of interactive whiteboards in education is to successfully accommodate different learning styles. This is because audio learners can use recording tools, tactile learners can touch and manipulate the board, and visual learners can easily track what is happening as a lesson progresses. Facilitating the different learning styles is a superb way of demonstrating the use of a whiteboard in teaching.
Access to Internet
Using interactive whiteboards in the classroom gives the opportunity for immediate access to any content on the internet. This is beneficial because questions can be answered instantly through a Google search, as audio, video, and images are all easily accessible. Many teaching sites can be visited, and students benefit from that in a greater way. This can make learning fun.
One of the uses of interactive whiteboards in education that is usually taken for granted is their capability to preserve lessons, notes, and discussions. Such material can easily be accessed afterwards. Saving concepts and ideas that had been extensively covered in a previous lesson means that students can easily access the content so as to refresh their knowledge. Furthermore, students who were absent when the lessons were covered for one reason or another can get an opportunity to access the material to go through what was previously covered. Some of the teachers’ inspiration and emphases during the teaching process can be saved, which is not possible on the conventional marker board.
Games are also a way to use a whiteboard in the classroom. Education via games such as rearranging jumbled texts or objects or drag and match is possible. This is mostly applicable to the education of very young students. The teacher can properly prepare and vary the games so that they are successful.
Interactive whiteboards have different patterns that can be used to lay emphasis on a single word or even a group of words. It uses movements and colour, among other techniques, to do this. Furthermore, the distractive part of the interactive whiteboard’s screen has an effective hideaway feature. You can use different colours of pen to emphasize a subject matter; you can use a spotlight, magic pen, etc.
Do you know that you can use an interactive board to teach students how to draw a perfect diagram? That is to say, every department can benefit from the use of an interactive whiteboard in the process of learning. Use an interactive board to identify student abilities in art and sketching.
In Nigeria, interactive whiteboards are yet to be fully adopted in our tertiary institutions, especially government-owned institutions. In most cases, we discovered that most teachers in public schools are afraid of new technologies. But they should not worry; we are here for teachers in such categories; we’re ready to train them and show them the enormous benefits of adopting these technologies in the teaching process. They adopted this technology in all of their classrooms, just like the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology Zaria, a facility run by the Nigerian federal government, and all of their lecturers are knowledgeable about how to use the most recent teaching tools.
We are eager to demonstrate how these modern teaching aids and solutions enhance the education system, help proprietors make their schools more competitive, and help parents derive more value from the resources they expand on the education of their wards.”
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