Friday, 21 September 2007

Impact of I.W.B.s on T & L

Listen to this interview I did with Peter Woodhead the ICT Advisor with the English Schools Foundation in Hong Kong. The discussion is about their IWB scheme .... the ESF is probably the most prolific users of IWBs in International Schools in S.E.Asia.

More information about IWBs ... including research papers on their effectiveness can be seen at

Labels: , , , , ,


At 27 October 2007 at 12:51 , Anonymous John Nixon said...

Here at TES we have installed IWB's in all primary classrooms and msot specialist rooms - they are heavily in use and peer training has been very effective. In the secondary sections about half the rooms are fitted with IWB's - most will have them by the end of next year.
Our German and French colleagues are beginning to show significant inteest despite quite different pedagogies apparent in the classroom.
We are particularly interested in any reseacrh demonstrating the impact of IWB's on the learning of children.

At 30 October 2007 at 11:18 , Anonymous Richard Dyer said...

We have IWBs in all primary school classrooms and are growing the number in the secondary. Having seen the impact in my previous role in the English Schools Foundation, I am convinced that we need them in all classrooms as soon as we can afford it. The change in the professional dialogue between teachers makes it worth the expense. Smith, Hardman & Higgins (2006) looked at the impact on teacher-pupil interaction. I'll bring a copy to Phuket.

Richard Dyer

At 31 October 2007 at 01:07 , Blogger Chris Smith said...

With your ESF experience it would be great if you could share some of this on Sunday .... can I give you some time ... 5 mins? (would like it to be lot longer but we've a lot to get in)

At 31 October 2007 at 08:10 , Anonymous Simon Mann said...

Most classroom have IWB at GIS but I would suggest we have not provied sufficient training so they are being used well in some classes and less well in others. I agree with Richard that the teacher dialogue is central to this process. However, I am concerned that they have the potential to encourage a hi tech chalk and talk environment.

At 1 November 2007 at 09:31 , Anonymous John Price said...

We have some IWBs. Almost all staff have laptops and use them a great deal in class. I am more and more convinced that IWBs are useful tools. Best practice I have seen is in Modern Languages.

Tablets/laptops for all pupils? This still terrifies me. Would it genuinely enhance teaching and learning in the classroom? The nice thing about FOBISSEA is that you can be a grumpy old sceptic and people still speak to you.

John Price

At 2 November 2007 at 19:25 , Blogger Walter Jones said...

I think you are being rather harsh on portable boards. They are a good way of assessing demand for cash-strapped schools. We have one which complements the fixed ones well.

At 4 November 2007 at 14:42 , Anonymous Martin Kneath said...

I absolutely agree with the need to identify the lesson objective clearly, otherwise the fact that IT is being used is suficient for some teachers to justify its use.

The other point is that progressive training is provided, it cannot just be one off at start up.

I have observed some top rate lessons with IWBs and also some really bad ones.

Are we at the same stage as we were when claculators and then the ealry pcs were being introduced?

The final point is that some teachers become really frustrated when technology fails - every teacher must always have a back up should anything goes wrong - that advice applies just as much when using IT as it does when using other resources which might 'not work' - a well prepared teacher is following good teaching practice.

At 4 November 2007 at 14:53 , Anonymous Richard Hayward said...

does anyone know... if you purchase in Thailand if you get training from English speakers..anyone bought in thailand?
Martin are you talking about lessons at Regents?Also anyone know whee to get interactive mouse (mice?)

At 4 November 2007 at 15:43 , Blogger Terry said...

Interactive Whiteboards Presentation
By Terry Freedman

IWBs from a leadership and management perspective: a personal view
What I shall be covering:

Issues from a leadership perspective
My first hand evidence
The recipe for success
1. I have decided not to simply summarise the benefits of IWBs because Chris has already been talking to you about that aspect, I believe. I thought it would be more interesting for you to have a personal view based on my experience here in the UK. I will make this available on the blog, so you don’t have to take notes if you don’t want to. I will also include some links when I post this.

2. Just as a bit of background, I was a teacher from 1975 to 1997, then an ICT advisor. I then worked in the QCA on an onscreen test for ICT, before becoming Head of E-Education in a Local Authority, where I was responsible for, amongst other things, the use of ICT in the schools in the area. I have also been an inspector, and delivered training to Heads in the Strategic Leadership for ICT (SLICT) programme.

3. Here in the UK there is also a lot of new building going on in both secondary and primary, under the BSF programme and other schemes. As part of this work, classrooms are automatically fitted with IWBs.

4. I have given you this detail because I have had a lot of opportunity to see IWBs in action – or not, as the case may be.

5. IWBs currently perceived as the Holy Grail of education because of what they can allow a teacher to do. All of the perceived good effects are real, but there are a number of issues.

Issues from a leadership perspective
1. IWBs are only transformative in the longer term if teaching methods are changed. The challenge is how to change methods, otherwise you end up with just a very expensive chalkboard.

2. Training is an issue: most teachers get only the initial training that comes with the purchase of the whiteboard. Given the pressure of everyday school life, and the fact that schools, and therefore teachers, are under pressure to deliver a particular percentage of grades A* to C, there is not an environment conducive to innovation and experimentation.

3. Some headteachers, in an effort to increase the usage of the IWBs in their school, have issued an edict stating that they want to see the IWBs on all the time. We have already had this approach with computers themselves, and it does not work. All that happens is that teachers feel disempowered, because it should be they who select the most appropriate method for a particular lesson, and use is trivialised.

4. Security is an issue too. The biggest security risk is the data projectors. The newer boards, which have the lamp integrated with the board, seem to be a good soultion.

My first hand evidence

1. As an Ofsted inspector and in my other roles, over the last 10 years I have seen hardly any teacher using an IWB.

2. Of those I have seen, only a very small minority used them effectively.

3. Quite often, it was the most recently-qualified member of the department who was using them effectively and on a regular basis.

4. For really good practice, it is necessary to look across the subject areas, not just in ICT. In fact, the ICT department is often the last one in the school to adopt new technologies, because they think they are already doing e-learning, when in fact much of the time what they have to offer is pretty staid and boring.

The recipe for success
Here is what I think has to happen for IWBs to become used effectively in schools.

1. There must be a proper programme of training. It is not enough to have just the initial training that comes with the whiteboard purchase.

2. Some members of staff, perhaps one from each department, should be sent on further courses. All the IWB suppliers have advanced courses. These people could then act as champions.

3. Time should be allocated in school time for teachers to practise their skills and to see what other colleagues are doing.

4. The school must be, or become, a learning environment, where “mistakes” arising from trying something out are not punished.

5. Headteachers have to be proactively supportive. Being passively supportive is better than being unsupportive, but being proactively supportive is much better. This has been shown to be the case in other work I do (FITS).

6. Teachers should be encouraged to join virtual communities of teachers, where they can exchange ideas and resources. The IWB providers have their own communities for this purpose, and there are other resources such as the Teachers’ Resource Exchange and more general virtual communities, eg some of the Ning communities, plus newsletters like Shambles and Computers in Classrooms, and websites like Shambles and ICT in Education.

7. Local support networks need to be established, eg Local Authority support, local federations of schools or other groupings.


The Teacher Resource Exchange includes resources spcifically designed for particular brands of whiteboard.

The National Whiteboard Week website contains resources:

The recent report from FutureLab makes for some interesting reading:

For ICT leadership issues, my website has lots of free articles. In addition, there is a paid subscription journal, Practical ICT, designed for leaders and managers of ICT. That costs £21.15 pa for 6 e-magazines plus access to several hundred articles on the website. There is also a free newsletter called Computers in Classrooms. More details at:

There is also, of course, the Shambles website and newsletter: and

Finally, an example of an online community is my ICT in Education Ning Community ( If you look me up on Ning you can see the communities I belong to, and join any that appeal.

At 4 November 2007 at 19:13 , Blogger Paul McMahon (LSA) said...

Wow! what a comprehensive post Terry. I think that the UK is a lot further down the path of acceptance of IWB use and the need for training that is high quality. I work in Hong Kong and this region and the acceptance of the need for good professional learning on IWBs is a real issue. I sometimes shake my head when I see some of the installations here. I recently gave a presentation at an international school here where I mentioned that sometimes getting out of the way and letting the kids use them is the way to go. I could see the Principal giving me a look of daggers. I returned to the school to pick up my board that they did not purchase to see that had installed the smallest version of the imported Canadian boards that are poorly supported here. They had all been put off to the side of the room at a height that the kids could never reach. Clearly they were for the teachers to use to show the things that support their very traditional lessons.
Not surprisingly the school has no need for CPD.
I have no doubt that they will be "bashing" the teachers soon for not making much use of them.
I find a lot in this part of the world that the administrators want to put in things that assist them to promote their school as high tech. These same administrators are the last people that you could get at a conference about the appropriate use of ICT for supporting 21st Century Skills. Thailand is probably a lot further ahead in this area.
(Of course the ESF is a different matter but they are not representative of the other international schools here.)




Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home