Advantages of using the interactive whiteboard (IWB) in the classroom

Reflecting on the article ‘Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards’ by Higgins, S., Beauchamp, G., & Miller, D., 2007), it appears that the advantages of using the IWB outweigh the disadvantages.

It seems the most important aspect of using an interactive whiteboard (IWB) as classroom tool for learning is its function that enables teachers to model abstract ideas and concepts in new ways so that students can  activities and deepen their understanding (Edwards et al., 2002; Richardson, 2002; Miller, 2003 as cited in Higgins, S., Beauchamp, G., & Miller, D., 2007).

Its multimodal functionality includes written text, pictures, video, sound, diagrams and online websites, which appeals to a wide range of learning styles Higgins, et al., 2007, p.215). The fact that students can interact with the content, through activities such as ‘drag and drop’ and sorting activities means students are actively engaged in their learning, rather than being a passive recipient of information.

Research (Bleedland, 2002 as cited in Higgins, S., Beauchamp, G., & Miller, D., 2007) indicates that using the IWB results in higher student motivation, resulting in improved engagement and behaviour (p.216). These are critical factors that impact on student learning, and suggest that when used interactively, the IWB is a effective technological tool to enhance student learning.

Higgins, S., Beauchamp, G., & Miller, D. (2007). Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards. Learning, Media and technology, 32(3), pp.213-22