Chris Betcher Keynote at IWBNet 2010

This is a copy of my CoverItLive record of Chris Betcher’s Keynote at the 7th National IWBNet conference on the 14th of August at St Stephen’s College, Coomera.

9:17 Chris Betcher is looking at the question of whether the IWB is leading us to the future or chaining us to the past. Sorry but I have been a little slow getting started and Chris has already started.

9:18 Looking at the advertisements and vendor promotions related to IWB’s. Improved teaching and learning doesn’t happen when you’ve got a board it happens if you’re a good teacher.

9:19 First statement used to argue against IWB’s: You can do all of those things with a data projector? Subsidiary question to the audience: Prior to getting an IWB did you have a projector?

9:20 Voting results on the room showed that 2/3 of the room didn’t have a board. Ipso the IWB has been the impetus for getting a projector into rooms.

9:24 Chris demonstrating with participant from the audience drawing over a face on the board. Chris’ experience is that when students were asked to do this in books they were reluctant but once they had experienced this same practice on the board they understood the parameters of the task in the drawing book.

9:25 Looking at the concept of acceleration showing video of speedometer.

9:28 Now capturing screen grabs directly from the movie and then putting them on a timeline to show how the speedo has changed per second. Using the zoom tool then to look at individual images. Take all of this data then to a spreadsheet and you get a graph of acceleration directly from a video of real bike

9:29 Taking the graph back into the whiteboard software, looking for trends and where the graph is changing why did it dip. Returning to the video to match the vid, the sound and other aspects of the experience

9:30 Question: whilst the demonstrations were being conducted in this presentation where was our attention? Was it on the live action on the IWB or on the big screen?

9:32 Most people in the room were focussed, (73%), on the IWB. Why because there was interaction with the board even though the projected image is clearer and more immediate.

9:32 Next statement: Everything that can be done on an IWB can be done in other ways, (paraphrased).
9:33 The reality is that digital convergence is bringing things together subsuming things into one device.

9:34 Question: Do you think that owning a Smartphone is fundamentally different to owning a collection of individual devices? 80% of the room say yes it does change things fundamentally

9:35 Looking now at the way that IWB fosters this digital convergence eg internet, video, drawing etc

9:36 Chris postulating that the software is still developing. When your only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail. It’s only when you look at your IWB as a Swiss Army Knife that you are getting value out of it.

9:38 When inventing the future if you only do the same things with more expensive tools then why invent. We really need to do new things with new tools.

9:39 Stages of IWB adoption

  • Doing old things in new ways
  • Old things in new ways
  • New things in New ways

9:40 Chris expands on this in his book referenced at

9:41 Looking at a range of ways that expand on these three stages

9:42 Next statement: IWB’s are too expensive and a waste of money

9:42 Too expensive is relative with Chris using a shoes analogy. $200 spent on shoes that will be worn out with exercise is money well spent but $200 spent on one wear fashion shoes is a relative waste

9:43 91% of the room believe the IWB is not relatively expensive

9:45 Chris asked a seller cost of a full projector setup with no cables on floor etc = $4000. The cost of complete IWB install =$5500. Amortized over 5 years the cost per day is 6 cents

9:46 If the boards aren’t being used efficiently then they are expensive

9:48 Chris demonstrating how the IWB can enable flexibility to follow what the student wants to know rather than follow a text etc

9:49 It’s not about what happens on the board, it’s about what happens because of what happens on the board

9:51 Both teaching approaches are complementary between individual and group learning. No classroom is ever wholely student or teacher centred they need a mix. There is nothing wrong with teaching

9:51 Next Statement: When every student has a laptop, IWB’s are redundant

9:52 Chris looking at the binary system and teaching us how to read a binary example

9:54 Showing how there is a place for explicit teaching in the right place

9:54 Next Statement: There’s no proof that IWB’s improve student learning

9:55 There is research data out there ERNIST ICT school portraits, Higins 2005.

9:56 Robert Marzanno has done considerable research looking at measurable games

9:57 2 major studies have reported that IWB’s have made teachers more confident in the use of ICT in general

9:57 91% of the room agree with this finding

9:58 It’s the fact that you have to learn associated skills be stealth eg embeds, sound files, images capture, searching to make the IWB work best for you

9:59 NZ John Hattie has plenty of research that suggests that it is the quality of the teacher in the end that makes the difference

10:00 Miller, Glover and Averis 2005 focus on the need for interactivity in general that makes significant differences

10:01 Unless we change the way we do things then no matter what technology we import it won’t make a difference to outcomes.

10:01 Finally make sure you THINK about what you’re doing as that’s the key to it all


Chris has added a Slideshare copy of his presentation along with the ActivInspire Flipchart and an mp3 recording of this presentation at his wiki.

Chris makes the point on the IWBNet Ning that;

You can see the Slideshare version of the keynote (as above) but also download the orginal .flipchart file, and also liten to the .mp3 file or the keynote address. Sorry about the audio quality… I recorded it on my iPhone, but the sound is quite muffled as it was picking up all the speakers from around the room.

The keynote presentation files are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC licence, which means anyone can use them without asking further permission providing you acknowledge Chris Betcher as the creator, and you don’t use them for commercial gain. All other uses require explicit permission.

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