Interactive Whiteboards: To Buy, Or Not To Buy

A neighboring district has purchased interactive whiteboards for each school. Parents and teachers in this district now are clambering for the same, but the IT department is reluctant to move forward because, based upon previous experience, staff members believe the whiteboards will be underused. Are such whiteboards worth the investment?

In one respect, interactive whiteboards are just like any other technology. Proper teacher training and readily available tech support are necessary, if you want teachers to use the equipment effectively. That having been said, the learning curve for use and basic trouble-shooting is much lower than with many other technologies. In fact, it’s often the case that teachers who are reluctant technology users are willing to give interactive whiteboards a try because they are easy to use. But this is putting the cart before the horse. Don’t purchase equipment just to keep up with the neighboring district. Do some research to learn more about how interactive whiteboards can impact instruction, and which brand would work best for your district. This site has featured several articles by whiteboard-using educators, and they’re worth searching for. If the decision is made to move forward, consider beginning with a small pilot and then expand the program as additional teachers are trained.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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