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April 12, 2007

There seems to be a renewed interest in interactive whiteboards of late, with the debate largely centering around the notion of "value." Proponents often bring forth such lofty, yet immeasurable "proof" as a teacher or administrator declaration of how wonderful they are, how their classroom lessons are more engaging, effective, interactive, etc., etc. More ...

Keywords: classroom technology, interactive whiteboard, presentation technology, smartboard, smartboards

Posted by Jim Klein | 789 comment(s) | Share This

January 17, 2007

So far, the responses to the question, "If you had the choice between 5-6 new computers or an interactive whiteboard and projector for your classroom, which would you choose and why?" have been very interesting! I must admit, I have been a little surprised - I expected a bit more diversity. Barring the, "I don't have the space" issue, most of the focus, up to now has been on the teaching side, rather than an argument for learning. I think the big question is, "which would affect learning in a greater way?"

Based on the responses, it would seem that the projector is a slam dunk - everyone thinks that would be a huge benefit. But the argument for the boards is a little less clear cut. I'm curious about the lasting impact. Once the "wow" factor has worn off, do they truly offer enough benefit over a projector alone to outweigh the cost? What if the question choices were 6 computers vs. 3-4 and a projector vs. projector and board?

Getting back to my prior assertion about learning, I think it's safe to say everyone agrees that explorative, project based learning is the most effective. In fact, there are schools whose curricular focus is almost entirely project based popping up all over the country, with parents scrambling to get their kids enrolled in them. Learning resources are becoming more individualized and interactive, and more and more products becoming web based (think Renaissance Learning and Scholastic, for example.) Textbooks are getting thinner, leaning more heavily on media and individualized tracks. In short, the focus is growing on the learner more than the learners.

I understand that this represents somewhat of a philosophical shift from traditional test focused, lesson based instruction, but I believe it is an inevitable evolution of the modern classroom. Considering all this, wouldn't more computers offer a better environment for learning projects, and the development of 21st century skills?

Comments? Opinions?More ...

Posted by Jim Klein | 10 comment(s) | Share This


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