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ERIC Number: EJ840719
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Interactive Whiteboards: Creating Higher-Level, Technological Thinkers?
Lacina, Jan
Childhood Education, v85 n4 p270 Sum 2009
Across the United States, many school districts are investing large sums of money to install interactive whiteboards (IWBs) in classrooms. For example, the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) aims to become a "digital district" by installing IWBs into 5,000 classrooms over the next two years. This particular implementation of IWB technology in schools is the largest in the United States--and a "key component of FWISD's 593.6 million bond program." Other schools highlight how they are using IWBs within their district, such as the Tucson Unified School District. This district provides a lesson planning website for IWBs. Great Britain leads the United States in the number of IWBs in use in the classroom. In London, for example, IWBs are used in about half of all classrooms. However, there is much criticism about the use of whiteboards in Great Britain's classrooms--including the charge that IWBs make students "spectators" instead of critical thinkers. In this article, the author discusses the use of IWBs, its benefits and drawbacks in schools. IWBs are an expensive form of technology--and there is no strong scientific research showing that students who are instructed by a teacher using an IWB have higher achievement. Instead of purchasing and equipping entire campuses with the technology, schools should selectively choose those teachers, and content areas, that will truly benefit from the technology. They also should ensure that the classroom technology is compatible with the new technology, while also providing teachers with ongoing assistance and professional development. Teaching using an IWB should move beyond simple tasks requiring lower level thinking to more inquiry-based and critical thinking assignments. Since only a few scientific studies support higher student academic achievement based on IWBs, districts may be wary of investing millions of dollars into a technology that will quickly grow outdated--and, if not implemented well, that teachers may not use effectively. What may be more important for students, the author contends, are teachers who initiate inquiry-based learning classrooms, and schools that provide smaller class sizes to allow more individualized interaction between teachers and students. (Contains 1 figure.)
Association for Childhood Education International. 17904 Georgia Avenue Suite 215, Olney, MD 20832. Tel: 800-423-3563; Tel: 301-570-2111; Fax: 301-570-2212; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States