WHY USE INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARDS? HOW CAN THEY CHANGE THE WAY YOU TEACH (and the way students learn)?
O, let us count the ways!
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Look how far we've come! Beth Stark models her "first" IWB, the good 'ol Polyvision.

The effective teacher:
1. provides students a means to create powerful visual interpretation of content. (Think: graphic organizers, images, movable text, note taking templates, etc.) Using a big copy/small copy of any type of text/worksheet/lab report, etc. permits students to work individually while also seeing how someone else is interpreting the text/assignment. This is a simple strategy that teachers have used for years with an overhead projector. However, this tool and its software allows easy integration of texts and images so that the use of this time-honored strategy is instant, flexible, and ubiquitous.
2. intersperses a presentation or lecture with interactive elements to give students the opportunity to explore the concepts using all of their senses. (Sort these ideas, listen to this or watch this multimedia and choose responses, compose responses so all can see). Asking a group to come to consensus is a powerful discussion motivator and begs students to explain and justify their thinking.
3. moves away from the front of the room, becoming "the guide by the side," and brings students to the front of the room to work with concepts, skills, or ideas.
4. during group work, allows one of their collaborative groups to work at the board, providing a model for the class, and then compare outcomes in a meaningful discussion.
5. gets the students up and moving. Physical activity involves the whole body in learning; it gets the amygdalas wiggling!
6. has her students create interactive content using the board's software platform. Deciding what to include and how to present it requires a thorough understanding of the content as well as the interests/questions/prior knowledge of the other learners in the room. Searching for multimedia and creating interactives that engage students in discussion and higher level thinking is a learning process for the creators of the presentation that no PowerPoint assignment could come close to replicating.
7. models metacognitive awareness and other learning strategies, making the learning process explicit.
8. has students model metacognitive awareness and other learning strategies, making the variety of modes that can be used during the learning process explicit.
9. does not underestimate the power of having all students able to SEE what's happening. Yes, a projector and a document camera can accomplish a similar result. However, having all of the tools needed for learning at one's disposal in a seamless fashion becomes so conducive to effective teaching, and so enhances the process for the students, that the teacher who has embraced these tools feels they could not do the job AT ALL without them.
10. uses the board to involve students in the management and automation of simple classroom management tasks (attendance, setting up groups, selecting students, timing class activities, taking lunch count, tracking calendar events and assignments, etc.) so much so, that the board is in use all day for all subjects.
11. utilizes the powerful resources created by other users in the online community (Promethean Planet, Smart Notebook Exchange) to keep students engaged by a wide variety of strategies. Game examples: Jeopardy Games, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, 24 Game, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Words With Buddies, etc. These types of resources are very difficult to create on one's own, but they are of such a quality and include "authentic" media that engage students by virtue of being so very similar to what they see on television, that they heighten student interest. (Note: the effective IWB user allows students to create question sets for the games, too.)
12. uses interactive websites (and other sites, too, such as Study Island or Teen Biz) on the board to get the whole class involved in solving problems, which again forces consensus and opens the problem-solving aspect to discussion.
13. models literacy strategies, such as text rendering, making connections, vocabulary strategies, etc., and permits students to do the same for the class.
14. models test-taking strategies, and permits students to do the same for the class.
15. uses on-screen recording to document parts of lessons that students may need to view again and again, and they make those video clips available via teacher website or district portal.
16. differentiates instruction by locating or creating a variety of interactive pages for students based on need.
17. adjusts instruction to student needs as they arise, since they have immediate access to resources and digital tools.
18. stores all of their content, media, images, lesson plans, activities, in one place (flipchart or notebook) and builds on that content library all year and from year to year.
19. uses the "common language" and file format to share and collaborate with other ActivInspire or Notebook users on their grade level, across grade levels, with special education teachers, across their department, across their building, and across the district. New ideas are shared freely, in a way that no other digital tool has encouraged in our setting, to date.
20. utilizes the ability to print slides, notes, activities, worksheets, right from inside the software to give students an additional mode of interaction with images or content (or to provide for students who were absent).
21. use the blank space provided by an empty page (slide) to take (or have students take) and save notes and student work from day to day so that it can be revisited (even later in the year) to meet a variety of needs. (Try THAT on the chalkboard or dry-erase board!)
22. pairs the use of a flipchart or notebook presentation with a student response system (clickers) to gather formative or summative assessment data and to keep all students actively engaged.

The list could go on, and on, and on.
Could you do all of this using other tools? Paper and pencil? An overhead projector? A digital projector and a laptop with PowerPoint, for example? Maybe, but the point is this:
Do not underestimate the power of having ALL of the right tools in the right place at the right time. If a teacher has to create an overhead film, or find a presentation software tool to use, learn it, create a presentation, find a document camera, create a worksheet, run it off, make a digital version or photograph a page of text and insert it, schedule and set up a projector, search the Internet for a game or activity, and then put all of that together before a single lesson, it becomes too complicated and time-consuming and teachers will resort, out of necessity and time constraints, to something simpler or more readily available.
With ActivInspire or Smart Notebook software, the teacher learns one platform (which does take some time) that does it all. Plus, it is available, ready and waiting, when inspiration, or student need, strikes. Kids don't understand a concept? On the fly, a savvy user can find or create a quick example and deliver what is needed, when it is needed. The IWB software is effective even when used by a novice. Enhancements happen over time, in a collaborative manner, with one's colleagues and one's students engaged in creating the content and activities. What could be better?

Check out this list of websites that are great to use if you have an Interactive Whiteboard (Promethean, Polyvision, SMART, or StarBoard) in your classroom:
CLASS TOOLS This site was created for teachers, by teachers. It is a free site filled with tools to help you create interactive assignments for your students. These tools are really spiffy if you use them with your interactive whiteboard.

Smart Notebook Teacher Exchange Notebooks and lesson plans for all curricular areas, K-12, to help you get the most from your SMARTboard.


Promethean Planet Flipcharts, resource packs, and lesson plans for all curricular areas, K-12, to help you get the most from your Promethean Board. Also check out the Promethean Planet Community for an exchange of ideas.







*ONLINE WEB RESOURCES CLICK THIS LINK!!!



Teachers Love Smart Boards Activities and tips added monthly. Great for seasonal and holiday themed activities.
I Love Smart Boards! Looking for free simulations to use with your Smart Board? This blog site is devoted to the sharing of resources and professional development on the use of the Smart Board. Also includes loads of links to lots of Google videos showing uses of the Smart Board in education.
CambridgeBoard/StarBoard Resource Center Download and share lessons created by users of the StarBoard.
My EasiTeach Site devoted specifically to the software platform accompanying our Polyvision Boards purchased with the CFF grant. Go to the Teacher Wiki to view and share activities, tips, and curricular connections.
Interactive Whiteboard Revolution This is a ning, a site designed for the exchange of ideas and debate. You can browse the site, or sign up and sign in to participate in the conversation.

Activity Search from Education Place
http://www.eduplace.com/activity/
Links to lots of activities by topic/theme.

BBC Schools
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/
Lots of great activities. There are many learning games.

Birmingham Grid for Learning
http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/activities/activities.cfm
Explore lots of great interactive activities from many content areas. Many of these activities include audio elements. These are aligned with UK standards.

GridClub
http://www.gridclub.com/
Explore fun, children's educational games from the UK
Check the Design activities: http://www.gridclub.com/grown_ups/cont_tec.shtml

Learner.org
http://www.learner.org/students/
Interactive, online exhibits on topics such as Amusement Park Physics, Ancient Civilizations, and the Middle Ages.

The Learning Box
http://www.learningbox.com/i_index.htm
Interactive activities on many topics.

PBSKids
http://pbskids.org/games.html
Lots of games learning and fun games based on PBS characters.

PBS
http://pbs.org
Many activities such as WayBack US History.

Read Write Think: Student Materials
http://readwritethink.org/student_mat/index.asp
Lots of interactive tools for reading, writing, and thnking.

Scholastic Online Activities
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/
Contains a mixture of activity types including collaborative, online projects.

Sesame Street
http://www.sesameworkshop.org/sesamestreet/?scrollerId=games
Over 100 games for young children.

ThinkPort from Maryland Public Television
http://www.thinkport.org/
Explore their Online Field Trips of interactive activities.

Interactives from WICKED
http://www.tki.org.nz/r/wick_ed/interactives/index.php
New Zealand-based games

Zoom
http://pbskids.org/zoom/index.shtml
Lots of fun activities for kids

Excellent Resources for Use on the Interactive Whiteboard in Art:

Graffiti Creator : http://graffiticreator.net/
This is a free, online flash application which allow you to design your own name or logotype in graffiti-style. TGC comes with several fonts from throwups to bubble letters to wildstyles. The program also has an array of different tools that will help you further enhance your design. Great for designing fun titles for presentations too.
Bomomo : http://bomomo.com/
Bomomo is bond to become a favorite. Each “brush” creates some very abstract effects as you move your mouse across the page.
Crayola :
One for the younger students – choose from a variety of crayons and felt-tip pens.
SumoPaint : http://www.sumopaint.com/
A very impressive, full-featured paint package. Lots of great features and it’s free. A paid version with extra features also available.
Moodstream : http://moodstream.gettyimages.com/
This is not a drawing program. Moodstream mixes images, movies and sounds to help the creative juices flow. Is hard to describe, but worth a look. Play with the sliders to suit your mood and see what turns up. Make sure your sound is on.
Google Art Project : http://www.googleartproject.com/
The Google Art Project is basically applying the Google Street View idea to the world’s art galleries. Visit some of the greatest galleries in the world and explore their paintings without leaving your classroom. Well worth a look.
Jackson Pollock
An oldie but a goodie. Paint in the style of Jackson Pollock, but without the mess. Works great on an interactive whiteboard. Click to change color.
Sketchpad : http://mugtug.com/sketchpad/
Sketchpad is quite a fun paint package that works in your browser. All the basic tools you’d expect are here.
Aviary : http://www.aviary.com/ and also http://www.aviaryeducation.com/ An excellent free suite of tools for image editing – painting, vector and more. Also includes a sound editor thats worth investigating. There’s a regular version of Aviary, but now an educational version too.
Odosketch : http://sketch.odopod.com/
A very simple sketch package. Quite neat effect, a bit like using watercolors in a sketch book.