There has been an increased usage of interactive whiteboards in schools, universities and institutions around the world. And it has been proved to be useful for both teaching and learning in variable ways, such as stimulating the enthusiasm of teachers and students for lessons, more efficient interaction in classes, increasing teachers' overall productivity and students' attainment.
Interactive whiteboards are highly versatile tools which can be used to teach anyone of any age. Teachers who use them regularly to teach their students have reported a great deal of success when it comes to presenting engaging lessons and they have been shown to provide significant benefits across all age groups.
The interactive whiteboard supports most multi-media materials, such as images, texts, audio and video documents from various input devices, including desktops, laptops, DVD players, USB drives. With this flexibility of the interactive whiteboard, teachers are not restricted to paper documents, cards and chalk in traditional education settings, but can create more interesting teaching materials to suit different needs from the students.
One of the main advantages of interactive whiteboards is that all work can be saved and stored with ease as everything is done through a computer. They are also fantastic for demonstrations or lectures through the use of PowerPoint and can be used to deliver presentations with amazing ease.
The interactive whiteboard in the classroom is basically like a traditional whiteboard digitally with touch function for showcasing lessons, but its exceptionally large size makes it much more useful than previous boards which are impossible to reach every student in a classroom. The display surface is large enough for everyone. It greatly improves teachers' efficiency and teaching convenience.
The advantage of using interactive whiteboards for demonstrations is that if a teacher wants to show the class how to use a particular website or specific software then he can simply get the website or software up onscreen and go through it bit by bit on the whiteboard. This in turn enables the students to start using the software themselves without requiring the teacher to go round and individually show each student how to operate the software again and again, which saves teachers’ great time.
The whiteboard also makes interaction between teachers and students easier with more diverse and effective teaching documents. The teachers can stress the particular parts by underlining, circling and annotating with digital ink of different colors to improve students understanding of the lessons. Erasing or saving the remarks and annotations is also possible, hence, the teachers can preserve their documents in the way they need.
Furthermore, interactive whiteboard also promotes group work. The teacher puts a stimulus up onto the interactive whiteboard and adds the class into groups first, then ask the group to read or look at the stimulus and add their contribution to the discussion directly onto the whiteboard.