The ordinary versus an interactive whiteboard

“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.”
-Gilbert K. Chesterton​

True indeed! Education has always been such an interactive process that has effectively helped in the impartation of collective knowledge, wisdom and information (be it to any cult, community or a group).


Teaching as an art and science has evolved over the years. Helping teachers see the scope of what all they can do when they have the use of all the varied ICT resources is the fundamental function of incorporating technology into education. Teaching can become a very dull activity indeed when it is enacted as a one dimensional activity or the one way approach with the teacher teaching and the student listening. However, when a teacher realizes that he/she has a lot of tools which can effectively aid in the teaching of the subject matter, teaching instantly becomes a different ball game altogether. When one has the support of visualisers to show magnified images of real 2D and 3D objects, or hi speed internet to access any information in the whole wide world, or the comfort of audience/student response systems, asking questions and checking answers becomes a piece of cake.

Today, let’s just cater our attention to one such ICT product that has given a tremendous boost to the way we perceive and impart education or even information to others.

Limitations of an ordinary Blackboard:

The practice of writing and teaching has always been in existence. Communication in written form, whether it be in the books or on the Blackboard is essential to elucidate various ideas and concepts to students. However, it doesn’t come without any imperfections of its own.

An ordinary blackboard is a medium constantly requiring a person to write, draw or sketch on it. Mostly it entails the use of a white chalk and sometimes coloured ones to make things more attractive. The limited space obviously causes a hindrance. Once a figure is drawn or text written, you will have to rub it off to start with the next segment of teaching or lesson plan. There is no back button that will take you to the previous page. This is a one-time effort. Whatever you wish to do, it has to be done once and backtracking is not an option. You will have to redo everything if you end up rubbing things off the board. Another inconvenience caused by an ordinary blackboard is that it entails a lot of wastage of time. How well you write, how speedily you work on board and how great your drawing skills are, are the key determinants of the success you may find while teaching using a blackboard.

Now contrast this against an interactive whiteboard. The clean white surface catches your eye and at the same time displays all coloured images as you would see them on a television or your computer screen. With brilliant picture clarity, many image functions, the ability to save work and retrieve it for future use, complete audio/video support and not to forget that an interactive board instantly responds to your touch letting you do live annotations on images and text make it exceedingly useful. Suffice it to say that an interactive whiteboard brings alive the classroom.


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