The progression of the digital whiteboard is arguably one of the most significant advancements in classroom technology. Not only does it help add that subtle touch of magic to a room full of eager students, but has also contributed towards the improved levels of participation, concentration and engagement that have become the hallmarks of the 21st-century learning environment.
With that as the backdrop, here is a quick primer to three simple ways that instructors and teachers can use to integrate such interactive devices into a typical classroom setting.
1. Make the Students See the Digital Boards as Valuable Manipulatives
Rather than making the digital whiteboard the central focus of the lecture (as most instructors do), go a step further and let the students view the device as part and parcel of your teaching session. A majority of teachers who are just getting started with these boards make the mistake of merely using this potentially useful device as another conventional teaching aid. Fortunately, though, most of these boards have multiple input ports that allow more than two students to interact with the device simultaneously. You can use this feature to your advantage by letting several students complete a common task – such a drawing or solving a mathematical problem – instead of doing it for them.
Even better, you can divide them into groups and let each group take a swing at the board periodically.
2. Use It as Interactive Teaching Tool
Until recently, passive lecture methods (where the instructors dictate notes as the students listen and learn) have been the norm of our curriculum system. Although it is a highly inefficient teaching model, most lecturers preferred it as it gave them a sense of control over the classroom. Nonetheless, digital whiteboards are quickly changing the landscape, and it’s high time instructors seized the chance of revitalizing their sessions by using them to involve the students in the lecture delivery process.
For instance, a professor can use such a digital board to ask relevant questions to different students in the course of the lecture and thus test their understand even before he ends the session. This way, lessons will be more meaningful while students will slowly learn to become more attentive.
3. Use It to Revolutionize the Old-Fashioned Way of Instruction
For instance, instead of lecturing throughout your sessions, you can spice up your lessons by throwing in a relevant video clip to help the learners internalize the concept under discussion. At the same time, students can take notes of what they have understood during a lecture and later compare each others by taking turns to display them on the board.
To be realistic, it takes constant practice to perfect the art of making the most out of the new digital whiteboard in your classroom. But that doesn’t mean that it is undoable, and neither is it entirely impossible to garnish your lecture session with this powerful educational tool.