Whiteboard leaves me feeling cold

15th September 2006 at 01:00
Apparently, I must use my whiteboard more often. Is this because it cost a great deal of money and is being wasted if I don't plug it in, or is it because it is modern? The "whiteboard heat of technology", I quipped in my discussion with the manager who had brought the matter to my attention, but this reference was lost on his post-Watergate psyche. I used my board a lot at first but grew tired of it not working. I was also aware how easily it could simply replace the old-style blackboard as a dominant resource and I did not want to fall into that trap. I told him I would use it when it is relevant to do so and that is the best I can do.

Interactive whiteboards clearly work better for some subjects than others.

Too often, though, they are simply used as screens to project PowerPoint or Word files. Just because you can touch the screen or highlight with a pen doesn't make the content any more interesting, but many lecturers have fallen into this trap.

I think they are best used with multiple applications lined up on the task bar, for example, moving between a website and PowerPoint in a process that involves the students moving on the content of the lesson through question and answer.

The "wow" factor, as with digital watches and anything designed by Sir Clive Sinclair, has rapidly passed. As one pupil said to me recently: 'It's just a whiteboard sir," before proceeding to zap his coursework from his mobile into mine by using something called Bluetooth. The question is, how the hell do I retrieve it?

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