Interactive Whiteboards

There was a time, up until recently when it was a luxury to have one these expensive and precious commodities in your classroom. Clever sales reps would come into school and give amazing demonstrations that left us all feeling as though our classroom wasn't complete without them. And here we are a few years later, most classrooms now being adorned with projectors and screens and I'm not really convinced that they are worth all the effort. I mean, I LOVE my projector but do I really need an interactive whiteboard as well? I don't use mine to its fullest potential and I don't see many other art teachers doing great things either.

n the art room they are usually used for certain key things:

Showing pictures and/or works of art
Playing Videos
Highlighting Web pages
Showing text files, lesson objectives, resources, etc.

These things seem to come naturally to us as teachers and it is hard to see past these things unless we have a rethink or rather more training on how to use them. I am no expert and I would recommend contacting one of the excellent advisers and specialists who do training courses in this field.

However, it seems to me that the biggest issue on using these resources is the resource itself. I am always very impressed on visits to primary schools, how they seem to integrate IWBs into their lessons. And the reason they do much better than most Secondary Colleagues, in my opinion, is that the IWB is seen as a whole class resource NOT a teacher resource.

In Secondary Schools the IWB is usually positioned at Adult level, with what I call a castle built around it. The teachers desk is nearly always near or in front of the whiteboard, which is then at the front of the class.

It subconsciously says: This is mine, keep off.

In Primary Schools the IWB is more of a shared resource and students are very at ease with using them. It is much more common for pupils to approach the board and be asked to show or demonstrate learning. Perhaps it is the nature of the environment to do this, whatever the reason the IWB in Primary seems to be a much more valuable tool. So for me, I think that teachers can improve the value of the IWB as a learning tool by sharing it much more in the classroom.

Interactive Whiteboard Flip chart Recorder

As an Art teacher I regularly use the record function on the board when demonstrating drawing techniques. A neat little trick to demonstrate how to draw is this: I use my mobile phone to take a photo of a still life group that the students have been asked to draw. I then send this to my computer using either Bluetooth or email.



Then I use the record tool and the pen tool to record myself tracing the drawing and showing the students how to draw the still life. I would then play this back as a continuous loop while the students were doing their own drawing:

The Flip Chart record tool in ActiveStudio

You can also move the background picture out of the way and leave the drawing only. Then I can simply replay the drawing as a movie file:

Playing the drawing as a Movie in ActiveStudio

Using an Interactive Whiteboard to study paintings

You can use the Interactive Whiteboard to study works of art/paintings. This next exercise needs a little bit of setting up before hand. With practice you might perform it in the classroom, but it can be tricky to do so I spend a few minutes before the lesson setting it up.

Copy and Paste an image you would like to study. Here I have chosen a painting by Carravagio: The Card Players:

Carravagio's The Card Players

Then I would use the camera tool to take photos of key areas of the painting that I want to focus on and place them on separate flip chart pages, like this:

Using the Whiteboard to study a detail of a painting

And this:

Zooming in using a Whiteboard

The only thing about doing this is that I find the Zoom and Move tools a little clumsy so I do not like doing this during the lesson, hence I set it up before. However, it a great way to look at artwork and you can highlight key aspects of the painting very well.

You can of course add text to the pages for the students to copy but I usually just add the title and important information since I like my students to just look and discuss works of art without the laborious chore of writing facts about every work of art we see.

Next Part: Mobile Phones and Online Galleries >