Beyond the gadgetry of the gallery: using the interactive whiteboard to develop intellectually engaging tasks in teacher education

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    Teacher fluency in the use of the interactive whiteboard (IWB) varies significantly. Past research into the utilisation of this technology has readily delineated what constitutes poor teaching (Mercer, Hennessy and Warwick, 2010; Glover, Miller, Averis & Door, 2007; Mishra & Koehler, 2006). It has, however, been less able to define the qualities of those pedagogies which use the IWB in creative and intellectually engaging ways. This project aims to devise methods through which the IWB can be used to promote higher-order thinking (HOT) skills in the classroom to move pre-service teachers beyond the gadgetry of the gallery and student toolkits. A qualitative case study (Stake, 2007) was undertaken to demonstrate how pre-service teachers could use the tools of the IWB to teach HOT skills in their own classrooms whilst on practicum. A cohort of 224 participants were required to attend one workshop per week at university where they had access to two Smart Board multi-touch IWBs in each room, with Smart Notebook software. They were asked to design and present a Smart Notebook file that would demonstrate tasks that developed primary student’s HOT skills. The case study concluded with students writing a reflection on what they had learnt from their IWB training at university, and from their school practicums. The inquiry found that the IWB provides an effective platform for teaching HOT skills insofar as it offers the user scaffolding tools to plan and design these activities when otherwise the task can appear too difficult to achieve, especially for younger pre-service teachers. The research also found that the structure of the software can easily lead pre-service teachers into presenting simple, formulaic lessons that lack creativity and engagement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationATEA 2012 Conference proceedings
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherAustralian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference - Adelaide
    Duration: 1 Jul 20124 Jul 2012


    ConferenceAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference


    • interactive whiteboard
    • higher order thinking skills
    • creativity
    • scaffolding
    • teacher education


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