Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) are a medium in which to present information from a computer/connected media to a group of people/students. Essentially, a projector is connected to a computer/laptop and the information is shown on a white backdrop. The difference between an interactive whiteboard and a standard projector is that a standard projector only displays what is on the connected media, whilst an IWB becomes a very large interactive touch screen for which the user is able to modify what is shown directly on the backdrop without the aid of a cursor or keyboard. IWBs come equipped with a ‘magic pen’ that is used to select things on the screen and navigate through programs.
IWBs are most commonly used for displaying content from a connected computer which can access the internet (if available) and use word processing and internet based programs. IWBs are great for streaming videos from websites such as http://www.youtube.com.
As with previous and less sophisticated versions of the IWBs, users are able to save, store and print what work is completed on an IWB with just a few touches on the screen.
IWBs are user friendly and enable students to stand up in front of the class and demonstrate their learning.
Whilst interactive whiteboards are relatively new to schools, they are becoming a lot more prevelent in the modern classroom with more and more teachers taking up the opportunity to incorporate their use with the curriculum.
We will be evaluating the benefits and disadvantages of interactive whiteboards in the modern classroom and see if they are worth all the hype that people are creating!