Image retrieved from http://deweycsi.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/a-massive-lobbyist-driven-smartboard.html
Whilst I have no hands on experience in using an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) I can present my informed opinion on using and applying the IWB in an educational context. Some benefits and challenges in effectively applying the IWB in the learning context are outlined below:
The benefits of the IWB, most commonly reported are the value in displaying and working with visuals aids, flexibility in learning and the acquisition of knowledge and increased students engagement.
McKendrick & Bowden 1999; Smith & Blankinship 2000 share as cited in (Winzenried, Dalgarno & Tinkler, 2010) that various researchers have highlighted the capabilities of the IWB in displaying visual representations as being of major importance for learning, consistent with earlier studies exploring the value of visual representation more broadly for learning (p.535).
Lacina (2009) shares that applying the IWBs in the classroom meets the needs of visual learners (p.271). Based on my own personal experience in the learning environment and as a visual thinker the IWBs would have provided very beneficial to my learning style.
The challenges of the IWB, most commonly reported are there cost, wide range of issues associated with the range of boards available and their impact on teaching pedagogy.
Winzenried, Dalgarno & Tinkler (2010) share that there are two main types of IWBs seen in schools the Smartboard and the Panasonic board. Stating that the key difference being that Panasonic boards requires the use of a special pen, whereas Smartboards could be used either with a purpose designed pen or with a finger (p.539). Lacina (2009) makes a great point in the drawbacks of the IWBs include the cost of equipping classrooms with the technology (p.271).
Whilst there are arguments in how IWB’s can be applied in teaching. Winzenried, Dalgarno & Tinkler (2010) shared that a teacher had attended a number of professional development activities run by the NSW Department of Education and Training, but felt that he needed time to immerse himself in a project to really learn to use it well (p.541). As a result of implementing the IWB in schools there is an expectation that teachers are skilled up in the functionality in order to apply them effectively in an educational context.
Lacina, J. 2009. Technology in the Classroom. Interactive whiteboards: Creating higher-level, technological thinkers? Childhood Education. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ps/retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&docType=Essay&prodId=EAIM&tabID=T002&searchId=R2&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm&contentSegment=¤tPosition=1&searchResultsType=SingleTab&inPS=true&userGroupName=csu_au&docId=GALE%7CA198931292&contentSet=GALE%7CA198931292&authCount=1&u=csu_au
Winzenried, A., Dalgarno, B., & Tinkler, J. 2010. The Interactive Whiteboard: A Transitional Technology Supporting Diverse Teaching Practices. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology.