the dark side of interactive whiteboards

06 Jan

bill ferriter has a great blog today about the relative uselessness of interactive whiteboards with respect to the “21st century” skills that we are trumpeting.  flat out, he’s right.  as a professional developer i find that using the ink layers from smart notebook 10 is super useful, but i find that the size of an interactive whiteboard doesn’t suit my needs, but it extends far beyond my simple observation of what i am currently doing.  i’ll say this – i see the value of the technology, being able to interact with the computer using your hands and ink layers, but i never thought much about the idea of how that plays out in some classrooms.  perhaps the interactive part is being reserved for the teacher only?  if the teacher is still using the same model of ‘conveyer of all knowledge’ with their kids at a desk then i would agree the the interactive whiteboard is not being used correctly.  i seem to remember hearing a saying about how good a tool is depends on the person who has it in their hand, my guess is that with interactive whiteboards the same rule is applicable.  so where does this leave me?  as any conscientious individual will tell you, i have to figure out the implications for what i do.  i work with teachers all the time, what message am i sending when i use interactive technology?  that’s going to take some thought.

1 Comment

Posted by on January 6, 2010 in Uncategorized


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One response to “the dark side of interactive whiteboards

  1. Susan

    January 11, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Are whiteboards important learning tools or glorified chalkboards?
    The popularity of interactive whiteboards in the classroom continues to grow, but some educators say the devices — which cost as much as $5,000 apiece — are just an expensive version of the tried-and-true chalkboard, especially when teachers do not receive adequate training or choose not to use the devices’ advanced features. “What makes it worthwhile are the interactive features and getting the kids at the board to connect with the material, because on the whiteboard you can present it in a way you cannot do with a chalkboard or overhead projector,” one teacher said. Education Week (premium article access compliments of


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