(click play below)
- easy to install and get started
- can save your lessons/notes
- not a touch interface (you must use a stylus)
Balance is the key to any interactive learning environment. Interaction can be facilitated in a number of ways whether using technology or not. Personally, I believe in technology integration within the classroom because it streamlines my instruction and allows for extending our learning. For example, I can streamline my instruction by having my notes (examples/anchor charts/graphic organizers) saved, splitting my screen to cross compare, dragging multimedia directly into the lesson (video clips, websites to reinforce the concept, etc...), and having a pace established as we progress through the lesson by having my material all in one place - ready. We can also extend our lesson by virtually visiting places within our stories, connecting globally with friends in other regions, and allowing our senses to naturally guide our thinking - through touch.
Because balance is key, we use dry erase boards and expo markers, magnets and cookie sheets, pencil and paper, iPad/iPod technology, SMART Board technology, computers, a projector, our document camera, crafts to construct, peer dialogue and conversation, and more. I do feel fortunate to teach in an environment that provides such resources. I couldn't imagine having to give up any of the resources I'm use to having at my fingertips - including my interactive white board.
Our interactive white board is not the 'end all be all' or magic little answer to our academic success - it's simply a tool to enhance our learning. Some days we use our IWB all day and other days we hardly turn it on... it simply depends on what the learning objectives are for the day. I don't wear my tennis shoes every day - only when the activity fits the accessory.
I understand the debate surrounding interactive white boards. Though I honestly feel as though the conversation stems from the cost. If the price point of an IWB were lower, I'm confident we'd all agree that they are 'worth the money' - providing that they didn't monopolize the instruction... creating a 'sage on the stage' rather than a 'guide on the side.' This is precisely why I'm thankful that Learning Resources is launching the now!Board, priced substantially lower than other interactive white boards on the market.
If you're considering an interactive white board for your school or classroom, I highly recommend using SMART Technology. If this is not an option for your school or district, the only other board I would even consider is the now!Board. There is no way that I would pay the high price for any other board other than a SMART Board. I was happy with how quick, easy, and functional the now!Board was to set up, use, and engage with.
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