If you’re just using your school whiteboard as a projector screen, you’re missing out on everything that this fantastic piece of interactive learning technology can provide for the classroom. Here are five ideas to get more from your whiteboard without spending too much money or time.
By using school magnetic whiteboards as opportunities to interact with the screen, they become a tool for engaging and fun lessons that allow students to move, be active and to collaborate. Simply press onto a screen object and use a drag-and-drop motion with your finger. Your students will likely do this intuitively anyway!
Google Earth integration
This is entirely free to use; just download it to your school IT network or local laptop. You can then use the app when using your whiteboard pointer to view a location and then zoom in. Google Earth allows you to see cities in 3D and to explore geotagged photos. It also integrates with Wikipedia to make your lessons richer and to allow aligned topics to be explored as students show an interest.
Flash tools are an easy way to create interesting lessons that aren’t overly complicated. You’ll find thousands of flash online activities to integrate with your whiteboard, all categorised by grade, topic and subject. Many of these resources are also free. Try looking at the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives as a starting point.
Look at vendors for ideas
You’ll find that most vendors of Whiteboards will offer their own resource community of tools. These will include things such as ready-made activities and resources as well as tutorials, ideas and information to get the most from your technology. Most of these are also free.
Interactive learning centres
If your school has a range of whiteboards, you can create an integrated learning centre to allow smaller groups to work together. The teacher can then rotate across groups and provide extra help and support as necessary. This approach allows students to all get involved in the project at hand rather than watching a couple of people lead the session, and it encourages participation. At the same time, outputs can be saved for a later review time, providing flexibility.
How will you use your interactive whiteboard to get more from your lessons? Get all your students sat down and get down to their eye level on your very own Operator Chairs from businesses like Best Buy Office Chairs and get each student to suggest a word to write on the board and then a rhyming word and make your own poem.