Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) can be also beneficial to students. Most of these benefits are in the area of the affective domain (DiGregorio & Sobel-Lojeski, 2010). IWBs tend improve students’ motivation to perform academic activities. Students usually enjoy the pictures and interactive activities and eagerly await a turn to use the board themselves. As a result, students are often more engaged and attentive when learning via an IWB. Studies have found that using an IWB can improves students’ attitudes towards many subjects, even those they do not like as much (Wall, Higgins, & Smith, 2005).
Interactive whiteboards also provide the students with greater access to digital ...view middle of the document...
As a result, the greatest gains are in motivation not achievement. Regardless, additional studies are needed before research can be considered conclusive.
Additionally, interactive whiteboards can provide scaffolding for students with special needs. One study found that using an interactive whiteboards helped students with intellectual disabilities to learn sight words more efficiently (Mechling, Gast, & Krupa, 2007). Another study concluded that IWBs can be beneficial in helping students with autism to learn new behaviors. Social stories are a typical method for teaching students with autism new positive behaviors. When IWBs are used for these stories, students can see themselves molding the behavior in pictures, observe the behavior in videos, and practice the behavior (Xin & Sutman, 2011). Such visual approach is very beneficial for students with autism. In general, using IWBs can help increase the participation of students with special needs. The technological aspect is appealing to students on the autism spectrum, and the nature of IWBs can limit the language skills required to participate benefitting students whose disabilities affect their language abilities (Whitby, Leininger, & Grillor, 2012).
Like any other technology, interactive whiteboards have disadvantages as well as advantages. One problem with interactive whiteboards is that they may have technological difficulties. Such problems can lead to increased frustration for both teacher and students not to mention waste of precious learning time. Another potential problem with interactive whiteboards is that some children may experience negative health effects such as headaches if they look at the IWB for too long (Wall, Higgins, & Smith, 2005).
Interactive whiteboards are perhaps most effectively used to teach reading and language arts. IWBs allow for the use of a variety of authentic documents such as diary entries, letters, manuscripts, poems, and books. Using an IWB, these documents can even be compared side by side (Gerard, Greene, & Widener, 1999). IWBs also can be used to incorporate interactive internet resources such as games, quizzes, and videos, which can enhance student understanding of a topic.
The annotation feature of interactive whiteboards makes them...