Whiteboards are virtually it

17th February 2006 at 00:00
How can "open your textbooks to page 22 and look at the map of Europe"

compare with watching the wonders of the world spin by in full animation on the interactive whiteboard? Volcanoes erupt and earthquakes strike before children's very eyes.

It seems premature to worry about the failure of whiteboards to register on the Sats Richter scale, as spotted by researchers (page 5). More important is the enthusiasm they spark among children and teachers. Imaginative use of whiteboards boosts motivation, concentration and self-esteem. The researchers found that whiteboard lessons were often faster-paced and inspired children to give longer responses to questions.

Whiteboards are versatile - but they can't do everything. Pictures on the screen don't substitute for first-hand experience: there's no point showing children a flock of sheep on the whiteboard when there's one grazing outside the classroom window.

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