Activity 11.3b Using IWBs
One place that an IWB could be used is in the construction of a class word map as students read through their myths. This lesson plan calls for the usage of word maps as a means to facilitate the learning of new vocabulary as students encounter it. As students encounter terms that they are unfamiliar with, they can be encouraged to add the word and the definition to the IWB. In this scenario the IWB serves as a stand in for chart paper or for a blackboard as a way of recording class information.
The way that the IWB serves to enhance this project is through some of its digital features. First, the IWB can replace chart-paper and so is physically less cumbersome. As the IWB is already present within the classroom it also means that little, if any, changes need to be made to a classroom already IWB enabled. The IWB also makes gathering additional materials unnecessary, as it is already present. If the IWB has iPad interfaces, the students can control their addition of information from their seats. This reduces the level of activity switching that the students are expected to do and helps the students remain focused on their reading. Being able to quickly add information and then return to reading means the students’ attention is less taxed than if they were to physically move. Finally, the IWB allows for saving of the document that is created, making the resulting work permanent and less prone to damage or loss. The saved document can then be shared by the teacher, making the communal document one that can be personalized or manipulated by the student. The class-created document can also be made readily available by sharing it over file sharing services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or a Teachers blog. This means that the students are able to access the list of defined words and concepts wherever they are. This makes it easier for the students to do homework, as they are not shut off from a communal document once they leave the classroom; as would happen with a physical object.
The usage of an IWB allows for students to have communal access to documents while reducing the amount of teacher work to make those documents available. The IWB enhances this lesson while reducing the inherent workload on both the students and the teacher.