What is an IWB?

At the beginning of this weeks learning path, all I knew about interactive white boards (IWBs) was that they were a large, interactive touch screen board.

The Wikipedia page for IWBs states:

An interactive whiteboard (IWB) device is connected to a computer via USB or a serial port cable, or else wirelessly via Bluetooth or a 2.4 GHz wireless. In the latter case WEP and WPA/PSK security is available.
A device driver is usually installed on the attached computer so that the interactive whiteboard can act as a Human Input Device (HID), like a mouse. The computer’s video output is connected to a digital projector so that images may be projected on the interactive whiteboard surface.

The user then calibrates the whiteboard image using a pointer as necessary. After this, the pointer or other device may be used to activate programs, buttons and menus from the whiteboard itself, just as one would ordinarily do with a mouse. If text input is required, user can invoke an on-screen keyboard or, if the whiteboard provides for this, utilize handwriting recognition. This makes it unnecessary to go to the computer keyboard to enter text.

Thus, an IWB emulates both a mouse and a keyboard. The user can conduct a presentation or a class almost exclusively from the whiteboard.

Maher et al (2012) describe an IWB as, “IWBs are essentially a large whiteboard-like surface which acts as an ‘input’ device to a computer. When combined with a data projector to display the computer monitor’s image onto the surface of the board, they function as a ‘touch-sensitive screen’. IWBs retain many of the features of a traditional teaching board (i.e. chalkboard, blackboard or whiteboard) including the ability to visually display writing or drawing to a room of students. In addition, however, they add the many capabilities of computer
technology such as saving, editing, Internet access and multimedia In addition, most IWBs are supplied with software that provides tools and features specifically designed to maximize interaction opportunities. These generally include the ability to create virtual versions of paper flipcharts, pen and highlighter options, and possibly even virtual rulers, protractors, and compasses—instruments that would be used in traditional classroom teaching.”

In order to enhance the use of the IWB, several extra components can be added, these include:

• Stereo Speakers
These are increasingly included as part of the standard IWB package and provide the ability for the class to hear the sound generated by the computer connected to the IWB. Obviously essential to the use of video and other multimedia forms.

• Digital/Web Cameras
Allowing the input of photos and videos to be manipulated and displayed on the IWB. Of particular use when you’re thinking about doing a Skype chat (or similar) with classes from around the world.

• Scanners
Originally suggested as incredibly useful because it allows the scanning of student assessment pieces into the computer so you can annotate and comment on them in front of the class. Increasingly being over taken by the use of cameras on tablets etc to do the same.

• DVD/Video Players
Also perhaps showing the age of the original page, since YouTube and online video is playing a bigger part in this task. However, with bandwidth being an issue at many schools, there remain considerations of being able to show videos offline.

• Graphics Tablets
Another form of input, very useful for drawing and more artistic pursuits.

• Digital Microscope
Cheap digital microscopes can open up a whole new world to students (especially in the primary setting) and these can be connected to the computer and the results displayed on the IWB.

• Internet Connection
Perhaps the most useful “peripheral” is an Internet connection that allows you to access the resources and services available on the broader Internet (as allowed by the schools network filtering policy).

• Wireless Mouse and Wireless Keyboard.
Very useful for sharing of control beyond the teacher. The wireless mouse and keyboard can be given out to the students to allow them to control input and output. Somewhat being overtaken by the rise of mobile devices, but still a good and cheap alternative.

As a result of this weeks learning path, I have now also discovered that as our ever changing society continues moving forward technologically, there are new formulations of Interactive white boards, as outlined in this weeks learning path:

SmoothBoard is an application that’s useful if you have a class with a collection of iPads or similar devices. It allows you to share your computers screen with the class. The students follow along on their device. The videos on the SmoothBoard home page offer a better description of how it works.

– “Skitch for iPad” has been touted as an IWB replacement. This page outlines how an Apple TV can be used with an iPad.

Although I have no experience using IWBs, I can already see how they can be used to enhance teaching and engage students. However, I am also aware that they can be used ineffectively, with the teacher possibly having the opposite outcome than was intended.

Maher et al. (2012) wrote, “It is not, however, just the physical IWB that influences the teaching and learning experiences occurring in classrooms. Rather it is the resources that teachers choose to use on their board that will have the most significant impact on educational outcomes.”

To finish up, I found 2 blogs, apps-a-daisy and ICT across the curriculum, that discuss new apps that can be used to support questioning in the classroom, such as blooms taxonomies and DeBono’s 6 thinking hats. I was thinking about how these can be utilised on an IWB as an interactive class activity. Fellow blogger, the adventures of a tech minded teacher, has also included a link to a resource for using Blooms taxonomies with pintrest.


Connect.ed: Cycber safety

I found the activities on the cyber smart website really interesting.

One of the big things I was made aware of was the huge amount of new terminology regarding the internet and computers, eg phishing, that I am unaware of. It’s a little scary to think I am going into a new world of teaching soon and there is so much about technology that I don’t know, yet children these days seem to be born with an inherent ability to use new technologies easily.

I think that as a teach one of the best ways to teach students is by being a positive role model. If you are acting in a professional and acceptable manner, students will see this. However, acting in an unprofessional manner (and possibly demonstrating illegal behaviours) sends students a message that this behaviour is ok.

I found the following statistics worrying:

• between 7 per cent and 10 per cent of students from Year 4 to Year 9 have experienced cyberbullying
• cyberbullying rates increase with age—in line with increasing access to technology

And this leads me to questions how school communities can combat this issue, after all the website stated that “Combating cyberbullying is everyone’s responsibility.” This means we need to be educating not just children but their parents and the teachers in order to help minimise this problem. I found it interesting when the site mentioned that “resolving conflict between young people is more likely to occur when bystanders—often other students—intervene.” This also highlights the importance of educating students on how to manage bullying and what to do is you’re a witness. The cyber smart website has a heap of resources and lesson plans that can be used to help educate students. It’s so nice to see that organisations and schools are being proactive!

One thing that I hadn’t thought of was the implications of using P2P software (peer to peer) with regards to copy right laws etc. This is a really interesting point that the website draws to teachers attention.

As I completed the modules I began to think how important it is for teachers to stay up to date with technonlogies in order to know what potential risks there are and ultimately protect students!

A fellow blogger has also reflected on the modules and made a good point when she says that technology is here to stay and we need to find a way to accept it.

digital footprint

The study path states, “the term “digital footprint” is used to describe the evidence of your presence that has been left in digital form on computers and services across a range of networks. One of the important steps toward being a digital citizen, is ensuring that your digital footprint is appropriate.”

During this weeks activities we were given the opportunity to engage in ‘take this lollypop’, an online tool that has been set up to help develop an awareness of cyber safety and the impacts our digital footprint can potentially have on our safety if the information comes into the wrong hands.

After completing the activities on this blog, I was thinking how the advancing technology in todays society is making teachers more accountable for their actions.

Teagan has also written a reflection on digital footprints, in particular, take the lolly pop and shared GPS on pictures.

Why digital citizenship??

After completing this weeks learning path I began to ask myself, why digital citizenships, what are the reasons for covering this and being aware of it as we begin our teaching career?

Well firstly there are the easy answers linking to curriculum documents:

– the Melbourne Declaration for Educational Goals for young children states it’s goal as being for “All young Australians become successful learners, confidence and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens” (p. 8)
– The Australian Curriculum ICT general capability states, “The capability involves students in learning to make the most of the digital technologies available to them, adapting to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve and limiting the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment.”
– The draft technology curriculum states, students will “evaluate how their own solutions and those of others affect users, equity, sustainability, ethics, and personal and social values.”
– The AITSL Professional Teachers standard 4.5 states teachers must “Use ICT safely, responsibly and ethically”.

But what are some other reasons? As teachers we:
– must ensure we act as role models, utilising ICTs in a professional and acceptable manner
– have a duty of care to ensure the safety of all children
– have a legal and ethical responsibility
– have a social responsibility to ensure students are made aware of the dangers and potentials risks of using ICTs

What others can you think of?

Technology Integration Planning (TIP) Model

This week we delved further into the TIP model. Our study path defined the model as having 2 distinct phases:

1. Enhancing – the provision of some form of relative advantage.
2. Changing – the ability to do something new, something not previously possible.

I did some research to find out some more information and came across this site, which describes the TIP model for teachers and outlines 6 phases:

Phase 1: Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)
Phase 2: Why should I use a technology-based method?
Phase 3: How will I know students have learned?
Phase 4: What teaching strategies and activities will work best?
Phase 5: Are essential conditions in place to support technology integration?
Phase 6: What worked well? What could be improved?

Which as you can see links to PCK another framework we have covered in this course.

I also found this diagram of the process involved in the TIP model


Planning Lessons

As I create my professional experience folder and begin preparing for prac I figured I’m going to have to start thinking about planning lessons, particularly with ICTs integrated. Another student, Tyahnie Wilson reflected on a previous experience of hers and says, “I relied on the students input during the lesson to shape the teaching environment which proved to be effective because the students were actively contributing to the lesson without major prompting.” This really highlighted the importance of adapting your lessons to suit the children you are teaching, each lesson plan will be taught differently depending on the classes needs.

In doing a quick search on planning for lessons, I came across this site, which has lesson plans based on each learning area (maths, science etc) and for each grade, and is also linked directly to the Australian curriculum.

Prac Resources

During the learning paths each week we have been introduced to different resources that will help us whilst out on prac, as well as, when we have a class of our own. Previously we were introduced to scootle, a website that contains a mound of online and interactive resources, unit and lesson plans all linked to the Australian Curriculum.

This week we were introduced to the learning place, “the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment’s comprehensive eLearning environment providing secure access to an innovative range of digital tools, resources and eSpaces for teaching and learning, collaboration and networking.”

One of the other students posted a link to tesIboard, another website with a range of interactive games and tools, as well as, units of work. Unfortunately this one isn’t linked to the Australian curriculum 😦