Over the past few years, I’ve delivered a few rants (here and elsewhere) about the wastes of money and time that are interactive whiteboards.
But I’m just one of those evil central office types who never had one in my classroom. What do I know?
So instead read the reflections of a 6th grade language arts teacher who experimented with an IWB in his classroom for a year and then told his school to take it away.
I’d go even farther, though, and argue that even WITH time and training, Interactive Whiteboards are an under-informed and irresponsible purchase.
They do little more than reinforce a teacher-centric model of learning. Heck, even whiteboard companies market them as a bridging technology, designed to replicate traditional instructional practices–making presentations, giving notes, delivering lectures–in an attempt to move digital dinosaurs into the light.
Do we really want to spend thousands of dollars on a tool that makes stand-and-deliver instruction easier?
If we could turn control of learning over to students, we’d probably see motivation AND academic growth levels rise all at once. Classrooms would become innovative places that students were drawn to instead of the snooze palaces that they seem to be for so many kids today.
If those are the outcomes we most desire, then why are we wasting money on Interactive Whiteboards–tools that do little to promote independent discovery and collaborative work? Sure–you could argue that when used as an instructional center, whiteboards become more interactive, but that is one REALLY expensive center, don’t you think?!
(emphasis is mine)
So, with IWBs we waste money on a technology that reinforces a “teacher-centric model of learning” and does “little to promote independent discovery and collaborative work”.
That’s IWBs in a nutshell!