The information contained on this page is for those who are considering using an interactive whiteboard in their classrooms, for those who want specific ideas for creating lessons for their interactive whiteboards, or for those who simply want to learn more about the technology.
Many teachers and administrators believe that interactive whiteboards are only for use in High Schools, Middle Schools, and upper Elementary grades. However, nothing could be further from the truth, the possibilities for using interactive whiteboard technology in early childhood classrooms are endless. Using interactive whiteboard technology in the early childhood classroom allows you to add depth and complexity to your teaching that you never thought imaginable.
In January, 2007 my district installed an interactive whiteboard in my classroom. There are several major brands of interactive whiteboards, the most popular two in the U.S. at this time are the Promethean ACTIVBoard and the SMART board. Each board offers similar features with the main difference being that SMART offers the ability to use your finger as the mouse or stylus.
Interactive whiteboard technology has been in use in British schools for several years and therefore many resources and references on the internet are geared toward British users. As this technology gains ground in U.S. schools we may begin to see more on-line resources geared for U.S. markets.
Don’t know what an interactive whiteboard is?
“An interactive whiteboard is a touch-sensitive projection screen that allows you to control a computer directly by touching the board rather than using a keyboard or mouse (although these can still be used). This technology requires a computer, a projector and the whiteboard itself. The computer is connected to the projector and whiteboard, and the projector displays the computer screen image on the board. As you point at active elements on the board, using your finger (SMART) or an appropriate electronic ‘pen’ as a mouse (ACTIV), the action is transmitted to the computer.”
If you are totally unfamiliar with this type of technology you can view examples of Promethean flipcharts at the Promethean Planet website (see resources section below) and search their large database of resources/flipcharts that teachers have created and submitted. When I was first learning about interactive whiteboard technology the Promethean Planet website was very helpful and gave me a much better understanding of what an interactive whiteboard was capable of.
If your district is considering purchasing interactive whiteboards or if you are considering writing a grant for one, arranging a visit to a classroom that is already using this technology is highly recommended. I was able to visit the classroom of another teacher in my district who was already using a Promethean ACTIVBoard in her classroom and it was a very valuable learning experience for me.
The following is a list of things I currently use my ACTIVBoard for:
- Numberline: Students use the reveal tool to count along on the numberline daily
- Days of the Week: Re-create the calendar on the board and make interactive with music
- Months of the Year: I inserted a PPT with music, just click to watch and listen
- Sight word chart: I created the Learning Workshop little word chart on the board w/music and turned it into an interactive game
- Word Family Games: Students click and drag objects into the correct word family house, objects bounce out if they do not belong
- Thematic Flipcharts/Files
- Math Flipcharts/Files: interactive games for every aspect of math; patterning, counting, colors, shapes and more
- Graphic Organizers
- Voting Questions
There’s much more we do with our interactive whiteboard daily but as you can see it is integrated into every part of our day.
More Early Childhood Technology Information