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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lit Review 2 - ). Interactive Whiteboards and the First Year Experience: Integrating IWBs into Pre-Service Teacher Education

This article focused on the issues that universities need to address during the implementation of technology, particularly interactive whiteboards (“IWBs”), and the challenges and opportunities it creates.  The article was based in Australia, where most schools have at least one IWB.  The question raised was how do we familiarize preservice teachers with the technology so they will not only be familiar with the IWBs but they can also utilize it to influence their pedagogical practices.  The article also discussed one university’s approach to challenging first year preservice teachers to become familiar with the IWB technology and consider the pedagogical implications.

This article was of particular interest because we recently reviewed an IWB and coincidentally some of the things that we touched upon in class were the focus of this article.  For example, while the IWBs are relatively easy to use, arrangements for appropriate training and support and allotting for sufficient time for preservice teachers to develop confidence in the technology.  Because IWBs are a relatively new teaching tool, teachers need to build up a repertoire of lesson plans to use with the IWB effectively.  It is during this time period that preservice teachers can devote the time and research to planning and preparing a lesson with the IWBs and enable the teachers to harness the full potential of IWBs.  Again, even though  the overall result will be a streamlined lesson plan, a serious investment in planning and preparation needs to be considered.

Some of the benefits of the IWBs are that they have the potential to enable teachers to cover lessons more efficiently and rapidly, but initially they require an additional investment of time in training and independent exploration to utilize the IWB effectively. That said the faster pace requires teachers to craft sharper questioning skills to elicit students’ understanding of the material.  Another benefit that was researched regarding the IWBs is that they increased student enjoyment and motivation for all classroom participants.  Throughout the article, IWB’s has potential to have a positive impact on learning, but the technology needs to link with the pedagogy.  Even with the article, further research is required to understand the use of IWBs affect on teaching and learning opportunities.

This article gave you something to think about when incorporating the IWBs into your lesson plans.  If you are one of those people, like myself, who like to jump into new things without giving full consideration to its impact, this article brings to light that, yes, this technology is great, but you do need to make the investment and do the work, if you want it to work.  Also too, you cannot avoid the new technology and for you to be a successful, effective teacher, you need to fully learn the technology and incorporate it as a large part of your pedagogy.  My best teachers in school and the two I learned the most from (Mrs. Grandfield 9th grade science and Mr. McCarthy 8th grade history), where heavy users of the overhead projector.  To me, the IWB is the overhead projector on steroids and the possibilities are excitingly endless.
Campbell, C., & Martin, D. (2010). Interactive Whiteboards and the First Year Experience: Integrating IWBs into Pre-Service Teacher Education. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 35(6), 68-75. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Technology Integration ... Thoughts

I think that after the past 11 weeks, this experience has only reaffirmed my beliefs about Technology Integration.  I work in an office environment where for years I have seen people struggle with the idea of technology (we are an island of digital immigrants).  I have always thought the time and energy to resist the technology is so much more consuming then just acquiescing to the new tool.  This class has taking the kernel of my beliefs and they have blossomed into endless potential.  In doing the web quest, the one thing I thought was what a productive tool.  You could prepare lesson plans that could be used when you need to take a day off or it would help combat the time lost that is caused by snow days.  Technology is a powerful resource and can be utilized to cover complex lesson plans, communicate more efficiently with students with special needs and enable you to reach out to your ESL students.  This class has definitely opened Pandora’s box for me.  The seed has been planted so when I go further into my education program and I am preparing lesson plans, I will be thinking of ways to add technology to the mix.  The book and class discussions complemented each other and reinforced what we were learning.  I read mostly the entire book and it is a great resource and I will be keeping it for reference.