It is coming to that time where the bulbs in the first roll out of interactive whiteboards have begun to dim. Many schools are taking the watery, distorted projection quality as an opportunity to scrap them altogether.
I can remember seeing value in IWB activities back in 2008, but at the time I thought “…so I am to choose one or two students out of the whole class to actually use it, while the rest watch on? Wouldn’t it be good if they all had their own touch screen device?”
Enter iPads in the classroom, the final nail in the coffin of the IWB. Now, I generally use IWB’s as projectors, to model for students and show them resources. As there is only one in our space, and as the picture quality is horrific, my colleagues and I decided to invest in some TV screens to use when connected to iPads and computers, rather than paying to replace the bulb of the IWB. This way every teacher has a screen, with a reliable image quality, without the need to plunge the room into total darkness, and of an appropriate size for all children to see it without commandeering a ridiculous amount of wall space.
Flat screen televisions are not as expensive as they once were, much cheaper in some cases than replacing an IWB bulb, and they can be connected to apple TV’s if you school is lucky enough to have reliable internet with a capacity for many devices to use it at once.
Is there any reason to use all of the capabilities of an interactive whiteboard in a whole class setting, when you have these alternatives?