Interactive whiteboards can be defined as large white screens which are connected to computers as well as projectors, which allows students and teachers to draw or write on the display. They basically link a computer to a touch sensitive screen and a projector. This means that whiteboards make humans act as input devices that control the functions of the computer through a touch screen. Whiteboards provide teachers with the opportunity to interact and communicate with students on a much higher level and this significantly fosters the learning process. This is what makes them ideal for education settings. An example of where you can get a high quality interactive whiteboard is on the video conferencing software -ezTalks Meetings.
Even though whiteboards provide interactive capabilities and visual learning opportunities, they are associated with certain disadvantages. They have a number of disadvantages of whiteboard which impede the learning process inside of classrooms. Some of the notable disadvantages of interactive whiteboards include the following:
Interactive whiteboards assist teachers to explain most concepts in effective ways that are bound to capture the attention of students. However, the design and preparation required for such lessons needs a lot of time. This is because teachers must carry out research, evaluation, interpretation, installation and maneuver the software programs that help in the use of the whiteboards. It is because of this reason that some teachers still prefer to use the good old fashioned textbooks.
Teachers who have not undergone adequate training with regard to the proper use of whiteboards often encounter challenges using them. This is because they find them to be very complicated and troublesome. This can cause frustration to teachers and they therefore end up not utilizing their full potential. This can also reduce the teachers'morale as they fear embarrassment in front of their students as they struggle to operate the interactive whiteboard.
Short students and young students often experience trouble in reaching the interactive whiteboard's top portion. Teachers employ stools and stepladders to help with such situations but this always poses a risk of injury due to falls. Furthermore, educators try to lower the projection but there is always less room on the interactive whiteboard on which to complete tasks. The students who sit at the back of the classroom might struggle viewing the interactive whiteboard over the heads of the front-row students. In addition, interactive whiteboards are not a long as wall-length chalkboards, this means that teachers cannot leave weekly tasks or homework assignments on them for the long term.
The lighting conditions ought to be right in order for students and teachers to utilize interactive whiteboards. This is because some students can experience some glare from sunlight or interior lights that is reflecting on the screen. There are students who might also experience trouble in reading diagrams, images or fonts which are smaller compared to the standard blackboard chalk writing. In case the power goes out or if the computer battery goes low, the teachers might temporarily lose the projected content. Interactive whiteboard screens which are damaged makes it challenging to effectively project effectively and consequently read the content. Repairs and replacements that are done on the boards are exorbitant.
There are educators who allow and encourage classroom discussions as well as permit data entry. For instance, teachers might permit students to freely interact on the interactive whiteboard with the use of their personal computers. This normally results in mixed signals, on-screen nonsense and an overload of inputs. In addition, teachers might have issues if students utilize their remote access off-task drawings or messages that are inappropriate to the screen. This can lead to unnecessary disruptions.
The largest disadvantage of using an interactive whiteboard is that they are quite costly. It costs many times more compared to the traditional whiteboard. In addition, there are extra costs for accessories and installation. There is also training costs incurred so that those who are going to use the system are competent enough to do so.
Regular troubleshooting and maintenance especially for advanced types of interactive whiteboards is expensive to carry out. The high cost of interactive whiteboards mostly affects non-profit organizations and some schools.
Continuously staring at the screen of interactive whiteboards especially in dark areas can negatively affect eyesight by straining the eyes. This is disadvantageous as an individual will have to seek medical attention for the treatment of their eyes and that will incur some charges.
Interactive whiteboards are touch sensitive and this can be a major limitation to its use at times. This is because it might fail to be sensitive enough. This can be quite frustrating to the user such as a teacher in a classroom setting as it will interfere with the lesson plan.
At times the speakers of interactive whiteboards may not be loud enough and this means that students who are sitting at the back of a classroom may fail to properly hear thus lose concentration. This is not good at all because they miss out on the primary reason that brought them to school i.e. learning.
A major benefit of interactive whiteboards is their ability to facilitate simultaneous data entry from several points. However, some of them can distort or jumble information that is coming from multiple input devices simultaneously. This might end up being quite messy and the data might lose meaning.
It should be noted that the above disadvantages of interactive whiteboards are not exhaustive. The interactive whiteboard is among the top technological tools which have become widely used by numerous school teachers in different countries e.g. video conferencing software - ezTalks Meetings. It has been proved to enhance learning for students and greatly improves the effectiveness of teachers. Also if you want to know some advantages of interactive whiteboards, you can click here.