Teaching with Tech: Interactive Whiteboards in the post-Covid world

In this week’s blog, our Education Director picks up the chalk and dry board markers again as he looks forward to a whiteboard renaissance as new collaborative whiteboard spaces become more widespread in our classrooms and homes.

We all remember the day new interactive boards were installed into our classrooms, replacing  dry-erase whiteboards or even blackboards, or in most cases, they were moved to the side, just in case the technology didn’t work!

The interactive display revolution had arrived. We could magically write with inkless pens, we could annotate over our worksheets, we could present our resources and videos to the class, the pupils could even get involved and complete work and show best practice on the board too.

It was great while it lasted, but then the curtains had to be drawn as the projector lost its initial intensity and the pen wouldn’t quite line up, despite orientating the board before the lesson. Your interactive display became just a display and you sat down at the laptop and your mouse became your pen.

Then came their replacement: Big interactive TVs on the wall that didn’t need the curtains drawn, that didn’t need orientating every 5 minutes, and lasted well beyond the pupils time at the school. Some even have small computers built in, so you can access all your cloud or network resources without plugging a laptop in.

The question is, did they make a difference? There was a plethora of research in the beginning, mainly by the manufacturers, and they found that yes, having an interactive panel, to be able to interact with teaching content and resources with your audience, does improve student learning outcomes by engaging the audience in the learning materials. There are also benefits to having a library of high quality resources that are shared and improved upon each year.

But, in the post-Covid world how is this technology developing to meeting the new needs of teachers and pupils?

Collaborative cloud based learning platforms have been around for a number of years now, and the likes of Microsoft and Google have started to make inroads in schools, helped along by the Dfe funded Platform Provisioning Programme, which provides all eligible schools with it’s own learning platform to support a remote and hybrid cloud based learning solution.

These free cloud platforms also give you tools that could spark a new revolution in using interactive displays. They give you whiteboarding tools that allow you to bring in all your resources in one place – Jamboard for Google users and Microsoft Whiteboard for Office 365. You can annotate, highlight, scribble, add text, on a virtual whiteboard that can be on your classroom panel and displayed on any pupil device at the same time. You could be showing a worksheet or a web resource, annotating it, adding comments or even ‘pushing’ the content out as a separate copy to every student for a homework task by adding a due date and a marking scheme. Added to all this is the functionality of sharing your whiteboard during remote lessons, so that everyone can have a space to collaborate in.

These virtual whiteboarding technologies help bridge the divide between pupils in school and pupils at home who are self-isolating, a vital feature while we live with Covid-19. But beyond the pandemic, they have clear uses in terms of making learning materials more accessible from anywhere, at any time and in a format to suit every teacher and learner’s individual style.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Dfe project is helping hundreds of schools or how cloud based collaborative whiteboarding could support your Teaching and Learning strategies, then feel free to contact me c.chaffey@computeam.co.uk  or complete this simple form.

Further information can be found here for collaborative whiteboarding, Microsoft Whiteboard or Google Jamboard, and as a Platinum Partner for Promethean we will not be beaten on price for their Interactive Panels

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As always Computeam are here to help and we have a wealth of experience in delivering effective educational solutions into schools, so please do contact us if you need any further help or guidance.

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Posted on September 14th 2020

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