When I was full time in a classroom I was fortunate to have access to an interactive whiteboard. Initially we had quite a steep learning curve climb to get the board working efficiently. (We did the board installation using labour from within the school community working from the support documents that came with the board, CRAZY!!!).
Soon things were running quite nicely such that I even decided to blog about my experiences. After a couple of years working with it when I moved from that room to another room without a board, my teaching life became quite traumatic. I have also since presented at a number of conferences on the use of IWB’s including at the last three national IWBnet conferences. Any time IWB’s are talked about, one of the major points of discussion that arises is the hoary old question of the best board brand or type. To my mind this is a self defeating and fairly pointless excercise, any board used well is a great investment in time and money but the best board in the world used inefficiently is an incredible waste of resources.
It was interesting then to read a recent post from Simon Lewis, an Irish Education consultant who also has a blog at Anseo.net. During an IWB course that he was conducting recently he managed to get together five different types of IWB’s for the participants to evaluate. As part of the exercise Simon surveyed the participants in as he said
“…….to check out all the options without interfering salespeople then surveyed them on their experiences.”
Simon then summarized the results in a pdf document. To me the interesting aspect of all of this is not so much the results, but Simon’s discussions and reflections on the reasons given by the teachers. One would also wonder what would be the reactions of non-novice users?
For those interested, I have also posted the details contained in this post on the IWBnet Conference Ning in the interest of stimulating discussion there as well.