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.
the dark side of interactive whiteboards