I wanted to include a list of some of the positive and negative aspects of using an interactive whiteboard (SmartBoard) in the classroom.
- Teacher can manipulate objects in direct response to student inquiry
- Presentation of learning material is improved
- Class focus and access to the same learning resources is improved
- Teacher planning effectiveness is improved
- Teachers can share resources more effectively
- Student motivation is improved
- Students collaborate and communicate more effectively
- Student thoughts are communicated in a more organized manner
- Difficulty in students reaching the board
- Difficulty in setting up and keeping board in alignment
- Additional training is necessary
- Lesson Plan preparation time is increased
As for the negatives, I can only say that it definitely helps having your SmartBoard mounted permanently and having your projector mounted in the ceiling. This reduces the problem of shadows as well as initial setup. From my experience as well as what I hear from other teachers, if teachers have to setup the SmartBoard prior to class they will eventually refrain from using it as a tool.
The training is also an issue. Training must be directly tied to the classroom. All-day workshops will provide an initial level of excitement; however, without follow-up, the training is doomed to fail. Training must carry directly to the classroom. Also, the amount of information conveyed to the teachers should come in chunks so teachers can focus on mastering specific skills one at a time. Training needs to be conducted regularly and throughout the entire school year.
Please share any additional positives or negatives in the comment section