SMART Ideas – infusing IWBs through collaboration

Last month, I blogged about how I will be supporting Cathi and John infuse interactive whiteboards (IWBs) into their preservice teaching this year. Because it is a self-study, we are documenting the pedagogical decisions we make as we go along. I’m going to try to use this blog to record what I’m working on.

From the first week of September, I started designing a questionnaire adapted from an unpublished instrument used in Kim’s dissertation study with some items from Hedieh’s faculty technology infusion research. The latter items will be useful for comparing similar info across preservice faculty and teacher candidates (TCs).

The purpose of the current survey is to investigate the TCs background, computer use, and opinions and preferences around integrating technology into their teaching. Based partly on this information (we also consider TCs subject areas, grade level and geographical location), ~6 TCs will be placed at the two elementary schools Midtown that already have SMARTBoards. Cathi, John, and Hedieh gave me helpful feedback on the survey so far, and Kim also generously offered to look it over. Thank you!

In the second week, Mike Morrow from Educations Commons booked the SMARTBoard for me in the MAC lab on the third floor. I prepared by downloading the software on the PowerBook and playing around with it a bit. Hedieh then kindly spent a couple of hours showing me how to set up and navigate around SMARTBoard using a Dell laptop. We briefly went through some tutorials , looked at some pre-packaged Flash lesson material, and tried recording what we did. We also tested that everything worked cross platform on the Powerbook.

Later that week, Cathi, John and I met to plan a Teacher Education Seminar (TES) lesson using the SMARTBoard. We decided to use the TES lesson on Bloom’s taxonomy scheduled for Sept. 25th as the first lesson for infusing SMART technology. It was really helpful for my own pedagogical learning to see how Cathi and John designed the classroom activities to integrate SMARTBoard. I had anticipated that the instructors would want to do a matching activity, use the screen shades (like using a piece of paper to cover sections of an overhead), and highlight certain points. However, it was good for me to see the instructors apply the ideas in a really practical sort of way because I often see things from a research, rather than teaching, perspective.

One technical challenge I had, besides the usual frustrations with LCD projectors and such, was getting used to the way SMARTBoard controls were set up on different computers. The controls are set up differently on the CFI Dell and Powerbook laptops, and Cathi’s tablet. More time working on the SMARTBoard with these computers will reduce this problem of not being able to find the tool I want quickly, and more time on the SMARTBoard in general would help me become better at keeping steady pressure on the board to move stuff around!

I’m now waiting for feedback from Cathi and John on a five question survey to get some feedback from the TCs. So far, Clare has helpful for helping me phrase these questions in a more pragmatic way…

At the same time, I’ve been reading some literature on IWBs . These include

Kennewell, S. & Morgan, A. (2003). Student teachers’ experiences and attitudes towards using interactive whiteboards int eh teaching and learning of young children. Proceedings of the International Federation for Information Processing Working Group 3.5 Open Conference on young Children and Learning Technologies. Vol 34. 65-69.

Armstrong, V., Barnes, S., Sutherland, R., Curran, S., Mills, S., & Thompson, I. (2005). Collaborative research methodology for investigating teaching and learning: The use of interactive whiteboard technology. Educational Review, 57(4), 457-469.


One response to “SMART Ideas – infusing IWBs through collaboration”

  1. Some of the folks in my KMD course in Spring 2007 did a study of SMARTboards on our class, and found they were extremely unintuitive to use. It was sad, since the SMARTboards have such potential, and are so underutilized…

    If you’re interested I can dig up the folks who wrote the paper and get you access to their results…

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