Interactive whiteboards have surged in popularity over the past decade, and students have benefited tremendously from this upward trend. According to research published in Educational Leadership, students taught with an interactive whiteboard experienced, on average, a 16 point gain in student achievement. In other words, the typical student at the 50-percentile mark would jump to the 66-percentile if they had an interactive whiteboard available as a learning tool.
How do interactive whiteboards achieve these results?
1. Use of visuals and graphics – Interactive whiteboards allow teachers to quickly organize visuals for lesson reinforcement. Students retain more information when it is presented in a multisensory format, and the research is conclusive on this. Interactive whiteboards have a visual advantage because they produce more vivid imagery, which is more engaging for students.
It’s easy to imagine how this advantage could play out in a classroom. The teacher asks the classroom where they would like to travel, the students work together to figure out a response and the teacher brings up videos and photos from anywhere in the world. With an interactive whiteboard, this can be done in seconds. It’s an effective way to keep students engaged in the lesson.
2. Involving students in the lesson – The “interactive” aspect of interactive whiteboards also drives student engagement and lesson retention. The study in Educational Leadership found that teachers got better results when students input their own answers using the interactive board. Some interactive whiteboard applications require students to drag and drop answers, reveal correct answers in novel ways or provide a visual reward when the student answers correctly. These subtle additions can nonetheless make an impact on student engagement.
3. Instant progress checks – Interactive whiteboards can be used with student response technology like clickers, and these add another dimension to the lesson. With rapid response technology, teachers can quiz the classroom to see if the lesson is being received well, and which parts of the lesson need reinforcement. Students can also use rapid response technology to vote, so the classroom directs the lesson to an extent. All of this adds up to greater student engagement.
Interactive whiteboards are student-engaging powerhouses, but they only work when they are equipped with the proper software. Fortunately, industry-leading brands pair their award-winning hardware with award-winning software.
Interactive whiteboards and interactive flat panels
Interactive whiteboards have transformed the way many educators do their jobs, but many classrooms are already a step ahead with an interactive flat panel in place. What’s the difference?
An interactive whiteboard uses a combination of a projector, a computer and a flat surface to provide a workspace. An interactive flat panel looks like a large television, except that it houses an interactive, LED display that’s designed for educational use. Interactive flat panels come with many advantages, like less maintenance, extended lamp life and ease of use. Interactive flat panels are also capable of 4K UHD resolution and extremely high contrast ratios, which means a more vivid picture.
Among interactive flat panels, the Clevertouch and ActivPanel are standout examples, especially when their software offerings are factored in.
What software comes with the Clevertouch and ActivPanel?
Promethean’s ActivPanel and the Clevertouch (manufactured by Clevertouch) are powered by their excellent software, which facilitate lesson planning and delivery. Some examples of this software include:
1. ActivInspire and ClassFlow – ActivInspire is the ActivPanel’s primary piece of software, and is designed to make lessons more visual and more interesting. ClassFlow is a modern take on ActivInspire and is something ActivPanel owners are migrating to.
ClassFlow is a cloud-based lesson planning software, connecting teachers together and allowing educators to share lesson materials. There are millions of lesson resources available to ClassFlow users, so teachers can quickly produce a variety of compelling lessons.
In addition to lesson planning and delivery, ClassFlow and ActivInspire come with whiteboarding capability, so they can be used to annotate and draw over lesson materials.
2. Lynx – Lynx is the Clevertouch’s whiteboarding, lesson planning and lesson delivery software, and comes with a wealth of tools to make both possible. With Lynx teachers can quickly reach out to the internet and pull in images, audio or videos to illustrate concepts. Lynx can also be used to annotate and draw, and it comes with neat little additions like calligraphy pens, timers and sentence crafters.
3. Clevermaths – Clevermaths is the Clevertouch’s primary mathematics, physics and chemistry lesson software. It is built with a sprawling list of features, like a graphing calculator and coordinate graph, shape creators, rules, compasses and protractors for geometry lessons. On the science side, Clevermaths comes with a collection of flasks, beakers, distillers, burners, a periodic table and scientific diagrams of the atom.
Interactive whiteboards have surged into classrooms over the past decade, and even though interactive flat panels are emerging as the next go-to option, whiteboards can still engage and encourage students. They can bring a visual edge to lessons, pull students in with their interactive controls and give teachers access to a world of educational experiences. With all of that, it’s easy to see how the technology brings out the best in student performance.
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