The IWB Slow Death

Ongoing saga at work for my colleagues (and me to a degree…but I know better) is the trials and tribulations of a rickety old IWB in each learning space. Dirty screens, poor light bulbs, ‘touch’ feature not working, inconsistent sound (if any) and…well..not much else. And two technicians that tend to avoid them at all costs.
I can’t recall the brand of IWB so perhaps I’ll check that tomorrow and add to this post.I think the reason I don’t recall the type and brand is that it doesn’t matter. A piece of technology that is fast becoming unnecessary.

Today I was reminded of  ‘s post last year about IWBs. I’ve posted the link HERE (hope that’s OK Rich!)

It’s worth a read. Not only have I never seen an IWB that is hooked up to a PC work perfectly in any of the classrooms I’ve worked in over 8 years, but I concur with Richard that it encourages old fashioned ‘stand and deliver’ teaching. Through my best intentions in trying to engage students with audio visual delights and a chance to manipulate an object, I’ve been guilty of standing up there on many occasions. But I refuse to say that it hasn’t been on my mind to adapt and find another way to create a lesson.

We have 1:1 Netbooks in the 5/6 unit. Until my arrival at the beginning of the year, they were used sparingly. That’s increased and I think we’ve made inroads.
To  break the consistent routine of waiting for the IWB to turn on, load, sort itself out, I’ve begun to ask the students to make their way through the necessary content and resources for a lesson through their own devices.
This week I’ve tried to move away from the front of the class. Instead of displaying content or working through instructions on a dying IWB, the students have been directed to immediately log in to our Edmodo space (some are still learning to bring their Netbook to every workshop!), access the content needed for the lesson in our Edmodo group; a YouTube clip, a document, a series of questions or a quiz. Students read and digest at their own pace whilst I can begin roving conversations as part of my introduction instead of standing and lecturing.
Alternatively, if I really need that larger display I have the option of wheeling over the Polycom for a sharp, crisp display that will never fade. (Got to get on to that…I can see it gathering dust!)
It may not sound new, but I bet many teachers are still standing, waiting and hoping for that old IWB to be repaired and ‘unleash’ its magic. I think we’ve all been a little fooled.

People have a range of opinions on the use and reliability of IWBs in schools. I’d love to hear yours…