It's Elementary #43: Interactive White Boards

We had a small gathering this week, perhaps due to our change in broadcasting time (now at 8/7/6 pm EDT/CDT/PDT). Alice and Maria, joined by Lisa in the chat room discussed the uses of interactive whiteboards.Discussion included, but was not limited to:

  • The IWBs we work with, an different features that make them better or worse;
  • Other IWB systems besides SMART and Promethean, including DIY ones;
  • How we use them (which is the most important thing);
  • Expensive lecture tool or way to transform learning for students? Hmmm, we're skeptical;

While we both enjoy our experience with these tools, we came to no hard and fast conclusions about whether they are
"the" tool (for good or ill). Listen up and see if you can come to your own conclusions.

The Chat Log follows:

 mariak -> Room 1: It's just you and me, baby
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: He there!
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: We are on EdTech A
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1:
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1:
 Durff -> Room 1: hey all - walking across room to find power cord
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1:
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1:
 Durff -> Room 1: imagine maria sitting on floor
 Durff -> Room 1: i use an overhead for the quickwrite
 sransom -> Room 1: That photo is classic... and probably not too uncommon.
 Durff -> Room 1: we don't have a SMARTboards
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1:
 Durff -> Room 1: Links for our shows at
 sransom -> Room 1:
 Durff -> Room 1: @sransom what is at that url?
 Durff -> Room 1: wb
 sransom -> Room 1: @Durff - did it not work?
 Durff -> Room 1: now it did
 Durff -> Room 1: i'm on hotel network
 Durff -> Room 1: at PETE-C
 Durff -> Room 1: very very slow
 Durff -> Room 1: ty for RTing
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: Hi Sransom
 sransom -> Room 1:  Isn't that the problem, though. We help teachers USE technology and not how to teach effectively and in meaningful ways  with it?
 Durff -> Room 1: bingo
 Durff -> Room 1: they are doing so well !
 sransom -> Room 1: My students are so anxious about learning how to use the IWB, yet less interested in teaching in meaningful ways. I tell them that the technology is the EASY part... and it is.
 Durff -> Room 1: rimes + onsets = about 950 words
 Durff -> Room 1: Adams, 1990
 sransom -> Room 1: NCLB consultant. Groan.
 Durff -> Room 1: every groan together now
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: You in PI?
 Durff -> Room 1: hi con!
 Durff -> Room 1: colin
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: Ya gotta have a consultant when you're in PI
 Durff -> Room 1: no can spell at conf
 colingally -> Room 1: hi guys, just a quick drop in before duty calls!
 sransom -> Room 1: PI?
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: Program Improvement: Not making AYP
 Durff -> Room 1: WB Colin
 sransom -> Room 1: Oh yes... Such a shame they are called by that term.
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1:
 Durff -> Room 1: not true
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1:
 Durff -> Room 1: i just tell kids i know nothing and they HAVE to do it
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: The first was Ferriter
 Durff -> Room 1: i might help a little sometimes
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: and next wast from Kobus van Wyk in South Africa where they are implementing a lot of IWB projects
 sransom -> Room 1:
 colingally -> Room 1: In my last school teachers did not have a choice. the "old" whiteboards were taken out and replaced with Prometheans. the teachers who were scared and negative soon became champions in using them. WITH TRAINING!!
 Durff -> Room 1: :)
 Durff -> Room 1: but your school is so lucky
 Durff -> Room 1: i don't even have one
 colingally -> Room 1: the school i'm at now does has only one or two. it's such a loss :(
 sransom -> Room 1: Getting kids using it is not transformative.
 Durff -> Room 1: indeed
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: getting kids creating on it would be though
 Durff -> Room 1: our school has 6 - they gather dust
 sransom -> Room 1: Directing the learning is different than controlling the IWB.
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: Also, I think that having kids using it is transformative
 Durff -> Room 1: one won't fit in the room where i teach
 colingally -> Room 1: Durff this Epson projector is interesting to me
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: Unless you give them step by step instructions and tell them what to do
 sransom -> Room 1: @Alice - what's transformative about it?
 Durff -> Room 1: thanks
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: I'll answer that in a moment
 Alice Mercer -> Room 1: Sransom
 sransom -> Room 1: Okay. Thx.
 Durff -> Room 1: transforming education
 Durff -> Room 1: hi sally
 Durff -> Room 1: wb sally
 sransom -> Room 1: I get that...
 sransom -> Room 1: It's just so sad that we are calling that transformative... It just seems to me that what you are describing is just "good teaching".
 Durff -> Room 1: hi bruce
 blemieux -> Room 1: Hello
 sransom -> Room 1: I do understand that there are terrible pressures put upon teachers to do things counter-intuitively. :-(
 sransom -> Room 1: I hear you.
 Durff -> Room 1: :)
 sransom -> Room 1: Such a shame.
 Durff -> Room 1: now be good
 blemieux -> Room 1: :)
 sransom -> Room 1: Thanks for sharing. I have to run. Bless you all!
 Durff -> Room 1: thank you all for coming!
 Durff -> Room 1: we were 8-9, not 9-10
 Durff -> Room 1: sorry for any confusion
 colingally -> Room 1: mad i missed the majority of this chat. until next time!
 mariak -> Room 1: thanks all - goodbye