TEACHING WITH INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARDS

I have recently attended a training course run by Cambridge university, MECD & British Council in Alcalá de Henares, Spain and sponsored by Hitachi about using interactive whiteboards to enhance a more dynamic way of teaching and learning in this new century.

I have used myself one of these interactive whiteboards for the last two years but I’ve seen so many colleagues using them as just over-head projectors that I wonder why this kind of technology has been placed in classrooms without any training.

For instance, in the UK about 75% of the schools have interactive whiteboards. The question is, how many teachers have been trained effectively so they make the most out of these incredible tools? I am afraid the percentage would shrink remarkably.

If we want teachers to not just become familiar with new technologies but also use them inside and outside the classroom confidently they will need to be trained and supported along the way.

We must not forget that technology should always serve pedagogy. Teachers need to have clear goals and strategies to use technology as a tool not as a mean.

This is just the beginning of a  long and winding road which also requires a new paradigm when teaching and learning. Technology has come to be part of our lives, whether we like it or not and is enabling us to communicate, share knowledge and information, collaborate,etc in a real-time world.

We all need to make a great effort to catch up with this new century, but I don’t think it’s fair to ask teachers to work with technology that they are not familiar with or have not been trained. For me the right step to take here should be asking the governments and local authorities to invest on not just big expensive machines but also on effective training so we all could benefit much more in the future.

Related links:

British council Spain: http://www.britishcouncil.org/spain-education-bilingual-project

Interactive whiteboardshttp://rmtc.fsdb.k12.fl.us/tutorials/whiteboards.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_whiteboard interactive whiteboards

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