Friday, March 27, 2009

CAL 2009: Interactive Whiteboards

Captured live at #cal09, posted late.

Using interactive whiteboards to orchestrate classroom dialogue Sarah Hennessy, N. Mercer, Paul, Warwick; University of Cambridge

The Interactive Whiteboard can be a tool for supporting dialogue in whole class teaching. In particular, conceptualising dialogue for aspects such as developing reasoning. An Interactive Whiteboards could be a great tool but whether it is or not depends on the pedagogical approach of the teacher. {Again, it's not the tech, it's the teach! - DM}

Therefore this project worked with teachers that they knew were already using dialogic teaching approaches. They were not looking for "whizzy" uses of IWB but rather uses that supported the purposes of the lesson. Examples given included annotating a piece of text and adding their own explanation of the vocabulary. Using storyboarding based on a poem and then showed YouTube video for "Paths of Glory". Children put things on IWB (annotations, spotlight areas, underlining, sketches...) for class to see but then had to justify and explain to class.

The researchers found the IWB could support rich dialogue. The teacher relinquishing control of the IWB developed a sense of co-enquiry. Important though for teacher to acknowledge pupil's contributions and for pupils to build on the work of others. The IWB can open up more space for new forms of dialogue, for example, non-verbal dialogue or multi-modal dialogue.

How as educators can we exploit this rich opportunity for rich dialogue? Can we use the layering of different modes?

Finished with and advert for the Research Into Teaching with Whole class Interactive Technologies (RITWIT) conference.

In questioning it was pointed out that most of the examples shown could have been achieved with an OHP. Is this a method of teaching that was lost by the introduction of IWB technology that is now being re-discovered? Response was that the research took a pragmatic approach - IWB is the technology that is in the classroom, so how can it be used more effectively. Also, part of value of IWB is the ease of collecting, storing and retrieving different annotations on the same source material.

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