Thursday, November 5, 2009

Getting to the top of the class

Interactive whiteboards are introduced to almost a third of K-12 classes in the U.S. It replaced a traditional blackboard and it is not only a blackboard but also a computer. More than half interactive whiteboards all over the world are made by Smart Techonologies. The husband-and-wife cofounders are David A. Martin and Nancy Knowlton. The motive of their invention comes from the idea that “We want to change the way the world works and learns.” Therefore, they create interactive whiteboards to increase student enjoyment, decrease behavior problems and also translate into better student achievement in order to help students get more actively involved with learning.
This invention has two benefits. The first one is that it reduces the environmental pollution. In the past few years, teachers used either a blackboard or a whiteboard when they taught their students. Chalk and white board marker were utilized. In fact, both of them produce indoor air pollution. During instruction, teachers and students are unconscious of inhaling chalk dust and the toxic fumes from their whiteboard markers, which harm their health. Therefore, interactive whiteboards prevent teachers and students from this danger. Also, the cost will go down in the long run, because schools do not need to buy any chalk or markers. Another benefit is that visual aid is an effective tool to improve learning. Showing a video, a chart, or photographs is conducive to strengthening the impression. Additionally, abstract explanation can become simple and easy to understand by visual aid. Accordingly, this innovation not only enhances the effectiveness of children’s learning but also lessens pollution.


  1. I wonder though- does the upkeep of the interactive whiteboards actually outweigh the costs of buying chalk, markets, etc?

    This seems like it would be put in place in schools that are wealthier and can afford newer technology, but I think lower SES schools could benefit more from an interactive whiteboard. I would be very interested to see a study involving interactive whiteboards and its effect on learning and retention of knowledge.

  2. Do these interactive boards imply getting familiar with their use? Are teachers familiar with the use of technology?