Photo: Intel/Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School
Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are quickly becoming one of the more sought-after technologies within the education sector, opening up new modes of learning and providing an alternative to traditional teaching techniques.
For teachers, IWBs make the classroom more interactive and interesting for today’s screen-loving students. A majority of teachers (68 percent) use IWBs and more have them on their wish list. These large interactive displays, often mounted on a wall, connect to a computer or other device and teachers use a stylus, pen or finger to write out their lessons for the class. A digital projector displays the computer images onto the whiteboard’s surface, which is made from an array of technologies, such as infrared, resistive, touch-based, electromagnetic or ultrasonic.
During presentations and class discussions, teachers can stand at the board or sit at their computer and easily display content, actively write new content, access any necessary online resources and save whatever is on the whiteboard for future distribution or use. The IWBs allow for much more versatility in the classroom and easier class management. Teachers can cover different facets of a lesson plan in a multitude of ways, including videos, interactive content and online resources that facilitate the learning process. Reviews become more dynamic as students become more engaged, and classrooms with IWBs experience a higher level of collaboration among students in group activities. Beyond the classroom, teachers are using IWBs to share instruction content and to distribute lesson plans.
Students at Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School say (watch the video) that IWBs help them stay engaged and less distracted during class. Located in Southwest Ranches, FL, the school has 65 IWBs that are shared among the 1,600 students. Teachers describe the IWBs as using a language that the students speak—technology—and that the IWBs have improved the overall quality of student work. For the school and students, creating a 21st century classroom and using state-of-the-art technology is inspiring long-term learning. In 2006, 99 percent of the graduating students attended college.
Why Go Interactive?
When compared to traditional projectors, IWBs come out the clear winner. In terms of maintenance costs, IWBs are easier to manage and operate. Teachers don’t have to deal with burnt-out bulbs, constantly re-calibrating and focusing the screen, high noise levels, and shadows. They are also easier to use and display a more appealing, high-contrast image.
When students weigh in to the discussion, they much prefer the more engaging IWBs. Students today are so visually oriented and accustomed to powerful, moving screen images. IWBs can capture and keep their attention as teachers move easily from one display to another.
And most important, visual aids improve student retention. A study by the University of Wisconsin confirmed that using visual aids improved learning up to 200 percent. Research conducted by the Wharton School of Business proved that the time to explain complex subjects is reduced by 25 percent to 40 percent when a teacher uses an interactive whiteboard.
Goodbye Chalk, Hello Smartboards
When first introduced, IWBs were slow to gain momentum due to cost and lack of awareness. Now school districts, teachers and students are ready for this versatile teaching resource. A report from Technavio expects the market to have a compound annual growth rate of almost 7 percent from 2016 through 2020.
Competitors within this market include BenQ Corporation, Hitachi Ltd., Intel Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, PolyVision Corporation, Sharp Corporation, SMART Technologies and Vestel. Education is the largest and fastest growing segment, but school districts are not the only play. Government and businesses are also purchasing IWBs for their conference rooms and open work environments.
Do Your Homework on Interactive Whiteboards
- Download this infographic to learn about interactive whiteboards and the significance of visual experiences.
- Check out this selling-guide that tells you all you need to know about Intel’s touch-enabled LCD-based Interactive Whiteboards.
- Find out how to become a solution provider for one of the leading technology manufacturers in the segment, SMART.